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U.S. stealth fighter carries out precision bombing drill in Korea

All Headlines 09:50 March 25, 2017

SEOUL, March 25 (Yonhap) -- An advanced U.S. stealth fighter conducted a precision bombing drill over the Korean Peninsula earlier this week, South Korean military officials said Saturday.

An F-35B stealth fighter from a U.S. air base in Japan participated in the Korean Marine Exchange Program, a joint drill between South Korean and U.S. Marines, and engaged in precision bombing training, among other things, before returning to its base, said the officials.

The fighter with a top speed of Mach 1.6 is known to have functions like strategic bombing and close air support for ground troops.

F-35B stealth fighter in air-to-air refueling. (Yonhap file photo captured from a U.S. Air Force website)

The latest bombing drill came amid the region's rising tensions over North Korea's continued provocations. Successive media reports say another nuclear weapons test appears to be imminent in the North.

The U.S. deployed 10 F-35B fighters to its Marine Corps Air Station in Japan's Iwakuni in January and six more are expected to be sent there by the year's end, according to the officials.

In case of a contingency on the Korean Peninsula, one of the first U.S. augmentation Marine forces to support South Korea are to depart from the Iwakuni base, they said.

ycm@yna.co.kr
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