Russia flexes muscle with bomber flight around Korean Peninsula
Russia sent a pair of Tupolev-95MS bombers around the Korean peninsula in a rare show of force.
KOREAN PENINSULA — Russian bombers were sent on a circling mission around the Korean Peninsula at the same time the United States and South Korea were conducting joint military exercises.
The move comes amid escalating tensions between the U.S. and North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear program.
Russia said the nuclear-capable Tupolev-95MS bombers were flown over the Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Japan, the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea, Reuters reported.
This prompted Japan and South Korea to send fighters to escort the Russian aircraft.
The two Tupolev-95 bombers were also accompanied by two Russian Sukhoi-35S fighters and an A-50 early warning and control aircraft, according to Newsweek.
The Russian Defense Ministry did not say when the mission took place, but announced the mission on the same day Moscow criticized the U.S.-South Korean military drills.
"The US and South Korea holding yet more large-scale military and naval exercises does not help reduce tension on the Korean Peninsula," said foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Reuters reported.
"We urge all side to exercise maximum caution. Given the arms build-up in the region, any rash move or even an unintended incident could spark a military conflict."
Washington and Seoul began the joint military and naval exercises on Monday, under strong disagreement from Pyongyang.
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