Four U.S. fighter jets flew across South Korea Wednesday in the latest show of force against North Korea for its recent tests of nuclear and ballistic missile weapons programs.
The F-22 stealth planes, which are capable of avoiding radar, landed at Osan Air Base near Seoul hours after taking off from their home base on Japan's Okinawa island.
"This mission demonstrates the strength of the alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea, and the resolve of both nations to maintain stability on the Korean Peninsula," said Lieutenant General Terrence O'Shaughnessy, the commander of the joint U.S.-Korea air forces.
Wednesday's mission took place 10 days after Pyongyang launched a long-range rocket and placed what it called an "Earth observation satellite" into orbit. The launch was condemned by the international community as a violation of United Nations sanctions against the regime for previous long-range ballistic missile tests.
A U.S. Navy attack submarine, the USS North Carolina, arrived in South Korea Monday to take part in a joint training exercise. Yonhap news agency says the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier John C. Stennis will join the annual U.S.-South Korea defense drills next month.
A B-52 long range bomber flew across South Korea last month after the North conducted its fourth nuclear test.
In a nationally televised address before the National Assembly Tuesday, President South Korean President Park Geun-hye warned North Korea that her government would take "strong and effective measures" to finally convince the North that its nuclear development program "will only speed up regime collapse."