Responding to North Korea by Sea

US and South Korean forces took part in a joint operation to demonstrate anti-submarine and ballistic missile capabilities off the coast of the Korean Peninsula Monday. The Navy’s USS Spruance guided missile destroyer and P-3 Orion patrol aircraft joined South Korean Aegis destroyers, submarines, anti-submarine helicopters, and P-3s in the drill, which was held “in response to recent North Korean provocations and is designed to send a strong message of unified resolve against continuing acts of North Korean aggression,” according to a US 7th Fleet release. North Korea has carried out numerous missile tests, including of submarine-launched ballistic missiles from off its eastern coast, and a fifth nuclear test in recent months. Last week, two B-1B Lancers flew closer to the demilitarized zone than any other B-1 in history as a show of force following the Sept. 9 nuclear test. (See also: Airmen Ready to Fight Tonight, Across the Pacific.)