North Korea Condemns Deployment of U.S. Stealth Fighters in South Korea

North Korea on Saturday condemned the deployment of U.S. stealth fighters in South Korea as an act of aggression aimed at launching war against the communist country.

A squadron of F-117A Nighthawk warplanes and some 300 airmen from Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico arrived in South Korea earlier this week for routine training. The deployment typically lasts four months.

It is the fourth time such stealth fighters have been sent to South Korea since 2003, the U.S. military said.

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The U.S. deployment of the stealth aircraft, which are designed to avoid detection by radar, is "aimed at putting its scenario for a war against (North Korea) into practice," the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland said Saturday in a statement.

The United States is "driving the situation to the brink of war through their reckless arms buildup and military provocations," the committee said in the statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

North Korea commonly issues such bellicose statements, accusing the U.S. of planning to attack the communist regime. Washington denies of any intention to invade the North.

The North Korean committee also accused the U.S. of having no intention to peacefully resolve the standoff over its nuclear weapons ambitions.

North Korea stoked regional tension by conducting a nuclear test on Oct. 9, and has refused to discuss abandoning its weapons development at international arms talks until the U.S. desists from a campaign seeking to financially isolate the regime for alleged counterfeiting and money laundering.

Some 29,500 U.S. troops remain stationed in South Korea as a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in a cease-fire that has never been replaced by a peace treaty — leaving the two Koreas technically still at war.

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