South Korea showcases new US-made fighter jets

South Korea showcases new US-made fighter jets
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South Korean officials displayed the country's newly-acquired F-35 fighter jet aircraft on Tuesday as the country's president reportedly seeks to allay concerns about his country's defense grid.

Reuters reported Tuesday that South Korean President Moon Jae-in oversaw a ceremony marking the founding of South Korea's armed forces, during which the country's new fighter jets joined others and performed a fly-by exercise near disputed islands that nearby Japan claims to be part of its territory.

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According to Moon's remarks, the fly-by exercise was performed without issue, with two out of four jets involved in the mission flying over the Dokdo islets.

“Just a moment ago, the F-15K, the most powerful fighter-bomber in Northeast Asia, has returned from completing a patrol mission over our land, Dokdo ... without any problems,” Moon said Tuesday, according to the news service.

A Japanese official told the news service that the country had urged South Korean officials against carrying out the patrol mission, and added that the islands were historically under Japanese control. The islands are currently home to about two dozen South Korean citizens, according to Reuters.

Japan and South Korea have gone back and forth for months over the territorial dispute as well as over tariffs the Japanese government implemented earlier this year targeting South Korean high-tech exports. The two countries have since terminated an intelligence-sharing pact, though the two countries' dispute was not reportedly mentioned by Moon on Tuesday.

“As the recent drone attack in the Middle East demonstrated to the world, the challenges we will face will be entirely different from those of the past,” he warned Tuesday, referring to recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities blamed by the U.S. on Iranian forces.