The United States will send F-22 “Raptor” stealth fighter jets to South Korea for joint maneuvers with the South Korean army, Southern media reports Friday in a new show of force against Pyongyang.
Six of these aircraft based in the Japanese archipelago of Okinawa will be deployed in the south for a five-day military exercise called “Vigilant Ace” and will begin on December 4, according to local media reports.
A spokesman for the South Korean Air Force declined to specify the number of F-22 “Raptors” who will participate in this exercise. A spokesman for the US Air Force did not want to comment on this information.
South Korean media say US planes would be involved in precision strike drills with South Korean fighters.
US President Donald Trump announced Monday that the United States has decided to re-inscribe North Korea on its blacklist of “states supporting terrorism” to increase pressure on its nuclear and ballistic program.
In early October, the United States deployed two supersonic B-1B Lancers heavy bombers, based on the island of Guam, over the Korean peninsula for a show of force against Pyongyang, during a first night exercise involving from Japan and South Korea.
A few weeks ago, other maneuvers have for the first time in ten years mobilized three US aircraft carriers, in addition to seven South Korean vessels, including three destroyers.
In July, North Korea fired two intercontinental ballistic missiles, which were apparently capable of reaching US territory. It also carried out a sixth nuclear test in September.