Saturday, March 30, 2013

U.S. B-2 bombers sent to Korea on rare mission: diplomacy not destruction

The stealthy, nuclear-capable U.S. B-2 bomber is a veteran of wars in Iraq and Libya, but it isn't usually a tool of Washington's statecraft.

Yet on Thursday, the United States sent a pair of the bat-winged planes on a first-of-its-kind practice run over the skies of South Korea, conducting what U.S. officials say was a diplomatic sortie.

The aim, the officials said, was two-fold: to reassure U.S. allies South Korea and Japan in the face of a string of threats from North Korea, and to nudge Pyongyang back to nuclear talks.