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South Korea-US Military Drills: F-16 Fighter Jet Crashes But Harms No One

By April 1, 2016 at 10:17 am
In this handout photo provided by the U.S. Navy, ships from the U.S. and Republic of Korea navy transit in formation during a photographic exercise on March 8, 2016 during Exercise Ssang Yong 2016. (Photo : MCSN Craig Z. Rodarte / U.S. Navy | Getty Images Korea)

In the ongoing massive South Korea-U.S. military drills, a South Korean F-16D fighter jet crashed on Wednesday, in Cheongsong, 322 kilometers southeast of Seoul for unknown reasons, reported Yonhap News. Fortunately, the two pilots safely ejected from the plane, unharmed, according to the Air Force.

The plane experienced an engine failure which was so sudden, then plunged into an uninhabited hill in Cheongsong, at 4:06 p.m., said the Air Force. The crash did not cause any damage among civilians as well, just a bush fire, to put out which, a fire fighting helicopter was sent to the site of the accident.

According to The Korea Times, the single-engine jet was from Chungju, North Chungcheong Province Air Force fighter wing. It was conducting an air-to-ground strike drill when the accident happened. "The Air Force is investigating the exact cause of the accident after setting up an emergency accident handling committee," said the Air Force.

South Korea and the U.S. are holding an annual massive military drill amid growing provocation, tension and threats from North Korea following the latter's nuke test in January and rocket launch in February. The totalitarian state is apparently not happy with the military drills, viewing it as a rehearsal for an invasion. It accused the U.S. as putting the region to the edge of war but the U.S. said they have no plans to invade and that the drills are just for defense.

Washington has some 17,000 troops to this year's South Korea-U.S. military drills, getting a strong reaction from the North.

NBC News quoted Institute for Disarmament and Peace at North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director Jon Min Dok who told the Associated Press that the drills were "unprecedented, the largest-scale joint war drills, surpassing all the previous drills, going on for nearly two months."

"This is what is driving the situation on the Korean peninsula and the region to the brink of war," Jon Min Dok said.

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