US F-16 jet crashes during S Korea drills near Seoul

A US F-16 jetfighter has crashed during military drills near South Korean capital Seoul, the US Air Force has announced, saying the pilot had safely ejected prior to the crash.

“An F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 8th Fighter Wing crashed in an agricultural area near Osan Air Base at about 9:45 am” in Gyeonggi province, the statement said on Saturday.

The jet’s pilot safely ejected before the crash and was taken to the nearest hospital, the statement added, noting that an investigation into the incident was underway.

Gyeonggi Governor Kim Dong-yeon said on his Twitter account that the local fire department was dispatched to the crash site and extinguished the fire.

“There are no civilian homes nearby the crash, causing no further damage (other than the jet),” a police official further stated as quoted by the local Yonhap news agency.

Washington is Seoul’s key military ally and continues to maintain over 28,500 troops in South Korea as a legacy of the 1950-1953 Korean War, which concluded in an armistice rather than a peace treaty, meaning that the two neighbors are still technically at war.

The US military recently announced plans to deploy nuclear-armed submarines to South Korea in a purported move to show its resolve to protect Seoul against the North Korea.

North Korea strongly condemned the move which makes way for deployment of American nuclear assets to the Korean Peninsula.

The country’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), quoted Choe Ju Hyon, a senior international security analyst, as making the remarks early Monday.

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