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article imageU.S. deploys F-22 stealth jets to deter North Korea

By John McAuliffe     Feb 17, 2016 in Politics
The U.S. deployed a formation of F-22 Raptor jets to the skies of South Korea on Wednesday in the latest show of force against North Korea.
The F-22 Raptor is an advanced American stealth fighter jet. A squadron of four took to the skies over Osan Air Base in Gyeonggi Province, 48 kilometres from Seoul, where regular American forces are stationed, after having been deployed from Japan last night. Upon arrival, they were joined by four F15K Slam Eagle fighter jets from the South Korean Air Force and four F-16s deployed by U.S. Air Force personnel already stationed in the country.
The deployment comes as the U.S. seeks to bolster their military assets on the peninsula in response to technological advances being made in North Korea regarding its missile and nuclear programmes, which took the form of a nuclear test and a long range missile launch.
On January 6, North Korea carried out a long-anticipated fourth nuclear test against which the international community resolutely condemned. The application of new U.N. sanctions against North Korea have been agreed on, however the country has become used to the ritualistic action-reaction relationship with the international community. Analysts are now warning of a possible fifth nuclear test in an act of defiance, should sanctions be applied.
Additionally, on February 7, North Korea carried out a long range missile test which it claims was a satellite launch intended to place an observation satellite in orbit. The U.S., South Korea and Japan countered with allegations it was a thinly veiled ballistic missile test and have heightened their state of security in response.
Criticism of the North has been extraordinarily harsh, with one South Korean lawmaker calling the for assassination of the North's leader, Kim Jong-un. In a nationally televised parliamentary address South Korea's president, Park Geun-hye, appeared riled up as she warned of "regime collapse" if Jong-un continues the path of confrontational foreign policy.
North-South relations regularly cause a war of words which is often followed with an increased deployment of American military assets. On January 9, the U.S. deployed B-52 nuclear-capable bombers in response to the North's nuclear test and more recently has bolstered missile defence systems on the peninsula with the deployment of Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) systems, which are operated by U.S. forces.
The U.S. and South Korea have scheduled upcoming joint military drills for March and April this year, code-named 'Key Resolve' and 'Foal Eagle', which are expected to last eight weeks and will be the largest ever, according to South Korean officials.
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