SEOUL, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- North Korea's recent launch of an earth observation satellite could be met with a U.S. response involving strategic bombers, a South Korean analyst said.
Aircraft that could be deployed include the B-2 strategic stealth bomber and the F-22 stealth fighter, Yonhap reported.
The possibility of deployment is high, now that the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier and the USS Ronald Reagan, another Nimitz-class nuclear-powered supercarrier, are deployed in the U.S. Seventh Fleet area of the Western Pacific.
Kim Yong-hyun, a professor of North Korean studies at Seoul's Dongguk University, said North Korea would be strongly threatened by moves involving U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises.
The United States has previously demonstrated a show of force when the Air Force dispatched B-52 and B-2 bombers to South Korea on Jan. 10, with the B-52 returning to Guam after flight.
North Korea had condemned the move, calling it "stupid," adding it would take on nuclear threats with a nuclear response.
Lee Il-woo, an analyst at Korea Defense Network in Seoul, a nongovernmental organization, said the United States is likely to dispatch stealth bombers, including the B-2, in response to North Korea's satellite launch Saturday.
The rocket launch is believed to be a cover for a test of Pyongyang's ballistic missile technology.
South Korean newspaper Herald Business reported the B-2 is the weapon North Korea fears the most, and is capable of infiltrating North Korea airspace undetected and could strike key targets, including the leadership's palace in Pyongyang.
The B-2 was deployed during the war in Kosovo in 1999 and more recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Northrop Grumman aircraft is estimated to cost $1.2 billion.