- ‘Be Ready’: VP Pence Warns on DPRK as Nuclear-Equipped B-52 Readiness Expanded
Only a few days before US President Donald Trump’s November visit to South Korea, Vice-President Mike Pence warned US troops to “be ready” as the Pentagon moves quickly to upgrade its aging B-52 nuclear-equipped bombers.
“Now, more than ever, your commander in chief is depending on you to be ready,” Pence said during a speech to assembled United States Air Force (USAF) duty personnel at North Dakota’s Minot Air Force Base, host to at least 26 B-52 bombers and an estimated 150 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch sites.
As the continuing threat posed by the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK) nuclear-weapons development has become the central focus of Trump administration foreign policy, lawmakers and military brass have tightened protocols, focused resources and continuously issued warnings of US readiness to engage in nuclear war, if Washington feels that it is threatened militarily.
During a recent visit to Louisiana’s Barksdale Air Force Base — home of the 2nd Bomb Wing and the Air Force Global Strike Command — USAF chief of staff, General David Goldfein, asserted that moves had been made to upgrade the nuclear-equipped B-52 Cold War-era bomber, going so far as to allude that a 24-hour state of readiness would soon be ordered — a move not seen since the collapse of the Soviet Union.