An unexpected incident occurred off the South Korean coast when a United States Army fighter jet crashed into the waters during what was described as a standard operation.
The US Kunsan Air Base released a statement confirming that an F-16 aircraft experienced an in-flight emergency, leading to its crash into the Yellow Sea on Monday. However, the pilot successfully ejected from the jet and was subsequently rescued.
The crash site was reported to be in proximity to the US Air Force base in Gunsan. Despite this, South Korea’s defense authorities have yet to officially confirm the incident.
US officials have initiated an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash while expressing relief that the pilot was safely recovered.
The US air base in question is one of the primary bases utilized by Washington within South Korea.
This recent event marks the second crash within a year, following a previous incident involving another F-16 jet during routine training near Seoul. Fortunately, the pilot in the earlier crash also ejected safely, and no additional casualties were reported.
Against the backdrop of North Korea’s ballistic missile tests, both South Korea and the US have escalated their drills in the region. Presently, there are over 28,000 US forces deployed in South Korea as part of an existing defense pact, as of December 2023.