Two pilots killed as South Korea fighter jet crashes

Two South Korean Air Force pilots were killed when their fighter jet crashed at sea as they returned from a training mission on Friday, an official said, three months after two jets of the same model crashed.

Last Updated: Jun 18, 2010, 15:56 PM IST

Seoul: Two South Korean Air Force pilots were killed when their fighter jet crashed at sea as they returned from a training mission on Friday, an official said, three months after two jets of the same model crashed.

North Korea, blamed by the South for sinking one of its warships in March with the deaths of 46 sailors, is not believed to be involved in the incident, a Defense Ministry official said.

The F-5 jet was last spotted about 1.8 km (1.1 miles) out from an east coast air base when it disappeared from radar during a morning training flight, the Defense Ministry official said.

Rescuers pulled the bodies of the two pilots from the crash site, he said. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Two F-5s crashed in March during a training mission, killing three pilots.

The supersonic F-5 fighter, developed by Northrop Grumman and first flown in the early 1960s, remains in service in air forces around the world, including the United States, Brazil and Thailand.

The model that crashed was assembled in South Korea.

North and South Korea are technically still at war under a truce that stopped fighting in the 1950-53 Korean War.

Tensions on the peninsula have risen dramatically since the sinking of the corvette Cheonan in March, which the South blames on a North Korean submarine attack.

South Korea wants the UN Security Council to rebuke the North in a resolution imposing tough sanctions over the sinking. Pyongyang has threatened military action if it is punished for what it says is a fabricated accusation.

Bureau Report