U.S. deploys F-22s in S. Korea against N. Korea
SEOUL, Feb. 17 (Yonhap) -- A formation of four U.S. F-22 stealth fighters swept through the skies of South Korea on Wednesday as the militaries of South Korea and the U.S. flexed their muscles against North Korea following its nuclear and missile tests.
The four F-22 Raptors flew at a low altitude over U.S. Forces Korea's Osan Air Base in Gyeonggi Province, 55 kilometers south of Seoul, in the latest of the allies' continuing show of force after North Korea's recent provocations.
In defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions, the communist country conducted its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6, followed by a long-range rocket launch on Feb. 7, which the outside world denounced as a test of ballistic missile technology.
Four days after the nuke test in January, the U.S. B-52 bomber flew over South Korea as the allies took to deterring North Korea from further escalating military tensions.
The nuclear-propelled USS North Carolina attack submarine joined a combined training with South Korea earlier this week, conducted in the East Sea, while the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis is also scheduled to join annual South Korea-U.S. defense drills slated to open in March.
Raptors are the most advanced stealth combat aircraft, which are capable of secretly breaking into the airspace of an enemy to drop nuclear bombs.
Previous deployments of the fighter on the Korean Peninsula reportedly scared late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il into holing up without making public outings.
It is rare for the U.S. to deploy four units of the stealth fighter to South Korea all at once.
Four U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors soar above Osan Air Base, south of Seoul, on Feb. 17, 2016. The deployment of the four F-22 Raptor stealth jets to South Korea marked the latest show of force by South Korea and the United States against North Korea, which conducted its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6 and launched a long-range rocket on Feb. 7, denounced by the outside world as a test of ballistic missile technology. (Yonhap) firstname.lastname@example.org