Six F-35A stealth fighters from the U.S. Air Force arrived in South Korea on Tuesday to take part in a 10-day joint drill with the South Korean Air Force. The U.S. is ramping up warnings to North Korea as the renegade country prepares for another nuclear test.
The planes flew from Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska to Kunsan Air Base in North Jeolla Province, the Defense Ministry said Tuesday, and their "deployment is aimed at enhancing interoperability between the two Air Forces, as well as displaying the alliance's strong deterrence and combined defense posture."
The F-35A can fly 2,200 km on a full tank at a maximum speed of Mach 1.8 and carry up to eight tons of missiles and precision-guided munitions. North Korea has no capacity to detect and intercept stealth aircraft.
The U.S. is sending the F-35As to the Korean Peninsula for the first time since the Vigilant Ace joint air exercise in December 2017.