MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Six US stealth fighter jets F-22 Raptor have arrived in South Korea for joint military drills scheduled to take place next week, Yonhap news agency reported.
The fighter jets will join the annual air exercises dubbed Vigilant Ace, which will be held on December 4-8.
The deployment comes days after Pyongyang launched Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile reportedly capable of covering 13,000 kilometers (8,077 miles) on Wednesday. The flight of the missile that reached an altitude of 4,475 kilometers lasted for 53 minutes, after which the missile fell into the Sea of Japan, within the Japanese exclusive economic zone.
According to the South Korean Defense Ministry, the launch was successful, while the missile is believed to be capable of reaching Washington, DC.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has responded to the demands, saying that Moscow is against the idea of increasing sanctions pressure on North Korea, emphasizing that the latest actions of the US authorities were aimed at provoking Pyongyang.
While the tensions on the Korean Peninsula have reached an unprecedented level this summer amid North Korea's missile launches, Russia and China have proposed the so-called "double freeze" plan, which stipulates simultaneous halt of Pyongyang's nuclear tests and US-South Korea joint drills, which have repeatedly been slammed as provocative by the leadership of the DPRK. However, Washington has rejected the plan.