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US military jet crashes in S. Korea, pilot safe

A US military F-16 jet crashed in southern South Korea Wednesday during a training mission but its pilot ejected to safety, US authorities said.

The plane crashed into a rice paddy around noon (0300 GMT) near a US air base in the western port city of Gunsan, the US military said in a statement.

Related Research on
South Korea Defence and Security Report Q4 2012

"The (lone) pilot safely ejected before the plane crashed. Emergency response teams are on scene at this time," it said.

There were no casualties or serious damage on the ground, a US air force spokesman said, adding details would be released later.

A local fire station officer in Seocheon county near Gunsan said previously the pilot was injured and taken away by ambulance. The officer had identified the aircraft involved as an A-10 tank buster.

The crash came as South Korean and US troops stage an annual joint military exercise, called Foal Eagle, from March 1 to April 30. It was unclear if the F-16 was involved in the drill.

North Korea habitually fiercely denounces annual joint exercises by US and South Korean troops as a rehearsal for invasion. Seoul and Washington say they are merely defensive in nature.

The United States has based troops in the South since the 1950-53 war and the force currently numbers 28,500.

© 2012 AFP

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Source : AFP

Published on ASDNews: Mar 21, 2012


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