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US F-16 fighter jet crashes off S. Korea, pilot rescued: Yonhap

An American F-16 fighter jet crashed in waters off South Korea’s west coast Wednesday morning, the Yonhap news agency reported, with the pilot rescued after ejecting from the aircraft. “The fighter jet crashed into the water and the rescued pilot is safe,” Yonhap reported, adding the accident happened near Gunsan, North Jeolla province. US Forces Korea, which oversees American troops stationed in South Korea, told AFP the Yonhap report was “not wrong” and said it would release details of the incident shortly. Police in Gunsan told AFP they were checking on the incident. A US F-16 fighter jet crashed in December in South Korea during a routine training exercise after experiencing what the US military said was “an in-flight emergency”. The pilot was also rescued in that case. In May last year, a US F-16 jet crashed during a routine training exercise in a farming area south of Seoul. The pilot ejected safely and the accident caused no other casualties. Washington is Seoul’s most important security ally and stations about 28,500 troops in South Korea to help protect it from the nuclear-armed North. In neighbouring Japan, the US military announced late last year that it was grounding its fleet of V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft following a deadly crash that killed eight US airmen.

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