TOKYO – Two U.S bombers flew over the disputed South China Sea, the U.S. Air Force said in a statement on Friday, asserting the right to treat the region as international territory, despite China’s territorial claims in the busy waterway.
Before their flight on Thursday, the two B-1Bs trained with Japanese jet fighters in the neighboring East China Sea, the first time the two forces have ever conducted night-time drills.
One of two US Air Force B-1B Lancer aircraft is refueled during a mission to fly in the vicinity of Kyushu, Japan, the East China Sea, and the Korean peninsula. US Air Force/Airman 1st Class Gerald R. Willis/Handout via Reuters
That U.S. military activity came amid heightened tension in the region after North Korea claimed it has developed a long range missile that could threaten the United States.