"The F-35A will not only deliver tremendous capability to ROK [the Republic of Korea], it also reinforces our alliance and further strengthens our defense relationship," US Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord said.
Speaking of the "iron clad" US-ROK alliance, she described the presentation ceremony as "one example of how the unity and cooperation between our two great nations will continue for years to come."
She was echoed by South Korean Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Seong-Yong Lee, who emphasized that the fifth-generation F-35A warplanes' deployment to South Korea will "enhance the ROK and USAF interoperability" and adds further to "the iron clad ROK-US alliance."
According to him, the South Korean Air Force needs the F-35A "to be manufactured on schedule" and "our pilots, maintainers and support staff to be trained on time."
Earlier it was reported that South Korea could purchase a total of 60 F-35As, with 40 such aircraft expected to be delivered to South Korea by 2021.
The deployment of the first F-35As to South Korea's main operational base at Cheongju is scheduled for 2019.
Earlier this week, Trump announced his decision to meet Kim Jong-un before the end of May, with the White House yet to define the details of the meeting, including a date, time and location.