Thursday, June 07, 2012

N. Korean Fighter Jet Flew Unusually Close to Seoul

A North Korean fighter jet flew unusually close to South Korea's capital Tuesday, prompting concerns that Pyongyang could be preparing an aerial provocation. Read more.

A military provocation could come from the North to demonstrate that its new dictator, Kim Jong-un, is as tough as his late father and grandfather.

Although North Korea has long been able to claim a much larger-sized air force than South Korea's, its planes are old--with the exception of several MiG-29s--and lack advanced weapons. Pyongyang's pilots are also poorly trained compared to S. Korean pilots.

South Korea has more than 500 fighter jets, most of them American-made. It also has the advantage of the presence of the U.S. 7th Air Force. Its main combat assets are the F-16 and A-10 squadrons of the forward-deployed 51st Fighter Wing at Osan Air Base and advanced F-16s at Kunsan Air Base.