USA flies F-22 in show of force to N Korea

epa05165537 Two US Air Force soldiers stand guard in front of a F-22 stealth fighter at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, 17 February 2016. The US military sent four F-22 Stealth Fighters over the Korean peninsula in response to recent the North Korean nuclear test and its long-range rocket launch.  EPA/JEON HEON-KYUN/POOL

Yangon / Bloomberg

The US Air Force flew four F-22 fighter jets through South Korean airspace in the latest show of force against North Korea over its nuclear test and long-range rocket launch.
The flight took place on Wednesday south of Seoul alongside South Korean F-15 fighter jets and demonstrated “the resolve of both nations to maintain stability on the Korean peninsula,” the US Forces Korea said in an e-mailed statement. The US previously flew a B-52 long-range bomber in South Korea after North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un followed up the test with a long-range rocket launch to put a satellite in space on Feb. 7. The US and South Korea condemned the action as a test of a ballistic missile that could potentially carry a nuclear warhead. They also agreed to start talks on deploying a US ballistic missile defense system in South Korea, drawing a protest from China that sees it as a threat to its national interests.
Tensions may heighten further later this month or in early March when the allies conduct joint military drills that North Korea routinely calls a rehearsal for invasion. The United Nations Security Council is also considering a new round of sanctions against North Korea for the nuclear test and rocket launch.
On Tuesday, South Korean President Park Geun Hye vowed “powerful” measures to force North Korea to drop its nuclear ambitions, warning of a regime collapse if Kim remains defiant. North Korea expelled South Koreans from a jointly run industrial complex last week after the Park government decided to shut it down in response to the rocket launch.

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