Four of the most advanced US fighter jets have flown over South Korea in a clear show of force against North Korea, a day after South Korea’s president warned of the North’s collapse amid a festering standoff over its nuclear and missile ambitions.
The F-22 planes, capable of sneaking past radar undetected, landed at Osan airbase near Seoul after the flyover escorted by other US and South Korean fighter jets.
Pyongyang is likely to view the arrival of the planes from a US base in Japan as a threat: they are a display of US airpower apparently aimed at showing what the United States can do to defend its ally South Korea from potential aggression from North Korea.
Lt Gen Terrence O’Shaughnessy, deputy commander of the US military command in South Korea, said in a statement: “The F-22 Raptor is the most capable air superiority fighter in the world, and it represents one of many capabilities available for the defence of this great nation. ”
The US maintained an “ironclad commitment” to the defence of South Korea, he added.
The US military would not say how long the F-22s would be deployed in South Korea.