NORTH KOREA: GUAM-BASED BOMBERS MENACE

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By Gerardo R. Partido

HAGATNA, Guam (Marianas Variety, Jan. 8) – North Korea has again accused the U.S. of practicing for air strikes against it using bombers based on Guam.

North Korea’s state-run news agency KCNA, citing unnamed military sources, said the U.S. launched an air exercise over the weekend simulating the bombing of major targets in the northern part of the Korean Peninsula.

According to KCNA, the action reflected "Washington’s ambition of igniting a nuclear war on the peninsula."

The U.S. military allegedly carried out the air exercise over South Korea on Friday using B-52 strategic bombers launched from Guam.

"The exercise staged by the U.S. imperialists...clearly indicates that they are set to ignite an adventurous nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula," KCNA said.

The Public Affairs Office of Andersen Air Force Base is currently checking out the report, according to Maj. Richelle A. Dowdell, public affairs chief of the 36th Wing at Andersen.

North Korea has frequently accused the U.S. of adopting hostile policies and staging military exercises against it.

Last November, KCNA also reported that strategic bombers based on Guam have been maneuvering in Korean air space to prepare for a possible attack.

KCNA reported that B-52 bombers took off from their base in Guam and flew over the South Korean regions of Nyongwol and Thaebaek on Nov. 15-16.

At the same time, a U.S. reconnaissance plane allegedly took off from the Kadena U.S. air base in Okinawa, and flew over Kumsan, Yongdong, Ansong and Kongju on Nov. 16 to command air groups in these maneuvers.

But the U.S. Air Force has said that B-52 flights to South Korea originating from Andersen Air Force Base were just part of a routine exercise.

The U.S. Air Force has also questioned the credibility of these reports, describing them as propaganda meant to put the U.S. in a bad light.

The Korean air exercises are also described as "routine" and normal for the new bombers deployed to Guam.

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