Russian Nuclear Bombers Fly Near North Korea in Show of Force

Rare Flight Near Korean Peninsula Comes Amid US Wargames

US wargames with South Korea have been raising tensions on the Korean Peninsula, even as North Korea is trying to hold back on the escalation of rhetoric. With regular US flights of nuclear capable bombers to the area, however, it’s clear that didn’t go unnoticed.

But instead of North Korea reacting to such US moves, it was Russia, who today sent a flight of nuclear-capable Tupolev 95MS bombers around the Pacific Coast near the Korean Peninsula, prompting reactions of jets from Japan and South Korea.

Russia announced the overflight a day in advance, and warned all parties in the region to avoid any “rash move” that might spark a war. This has been Russia’s message for months, backing diplomacy in Korea, but they appear to be betting the overflight will give their message a little more attention.

Russia has been among the most direct nations in warning about a unilateral US attack on North Korea, and even while that seems less likely than it did a few weeks ago, they appear eager to emphasize their opposition.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.