If media reports are to be believed, US F-22 fighter jets roared into the sky over South Korea on Monday to start air combat exercises that North Korea says are pushing the peninsula to the brink of nuclear war.
A report by Brad Lendon and Taehoon Lee, for CNN quoted a US 7th Air Force official saying that top-of-the-line F-22s are being joined by Air Force and Marine Corps F-35s in the largest concentration of fifth-generation fighter jets ever in South Korea.
“The stealthy F-22s and F35s are among 230 US and South Korean aircraft participating in the annual Vigilant Ace 18 air combat drills,” the report said.
The drills come in the after math of North Korea declaring itself as a Nuclear state after it successfully test fired an intercontinental ballistic missile.
The new missile puts the “whole mainland of the US” within its range.
After watching the launch of the Hwasong-15, the North’s leader Kim Jong-Un “declared with pride that now we have finally realised the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force”, the official KCNA news agency said.
US Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Nikki Haley had told the Security Council that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s abusive use of nuclear missiles show that he was “begging for war” and urged the UN security council to impose the toughest possible sanctions on the dictatorship.
The strong statement by the ambassador came as American and South Korean presidents, Donald Trump and Moon Jae-in, spoke and agreed that North Korea’s latest nuclear test was an “unprecedented” provocation.
President Donald Trump had warned that the US is ready to “totally destroy” North Korea and vowed to confront Iran’s “murderous regime” over its weapons programme.