Air forces from Russia and the USA are sending tough operational messages to the communist regime in North Korea following confirmation of a successful nuclear test earlier this month.

Personnel from Russia are ramping up monitoring activities on the Korean peninsula following the first nuclear tests by North Korea on 9 October and the US Air Force says fighter crews are ready to undertake missions within North Korean airspace if required to do so.

In separate announcements, the commander of the Russian air force and USAF stationed in South Korean have both reiterrated the capabilities of their respective surveillance operations and fighter roles.

Russia uses its fleet of Beriev A-50 Long Range Detection System aircraft, based on Ilyushin IL-76 Transport, to monitor ground movements in Northern North Korea. Russia participated in a joint excercise last week to demonstrate the performance of the A-50s' Flat Jack radar system.

Meanwhile, USAF personnel of the 8th Fighter Wing based at Kunsan air base in South Korea say the two Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter squadrons based at the air base midway down the South Korean west coast are ready to execute missions in the North if ordered.

The 8th Fighter Wing performs both air-to-ground and air-to-air missions in support of numerous taskings throughout the Pacific.  With 41 assigned Block 30 and Block 40 F-16C/D aircraft has an annual budget of $92.5 million, and around 3,000 military members.