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Russia Flies Bombers Around Japan

FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Japanese Prime minister Shinzo Abe attend a Japanese-Russian meeting in Tokyo, Japan, Dec. 16, 2016.

Two Russian bombers circumnavigated Japan Tuesday, a defense official told VOA.

The official from U.S. Pacific Command, which overseas U.S. military operations in the Asia-Pacific region, said Pacific Command did not take any action during the activity because the Russian bombers’ flight paths did not cause concern.

Another U.S. official told VOA the Russian aircraft had stayed in international airspace throughout the flights around the island nation.

Earlier in the day, Fox News reported that the move had prompted Japan’s military to scramble fighter jets while the North American Aerospace Defense Command, known as NORAD, increased its threat posture.

NORAD spokeswoman Ashleigh Peck told VOA that it is not unusual for various areas covered by NORAD to shift threat response postures “for exercises or real world events.” However, she would not confirm or deny any recent posture changes because of “operational security reasons.”

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    Carla Babb

    Carla is VOA's Pentagon correspondent covering defense and international security issues. Her datelines include Ukraine, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Korea.

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