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US military deploys warplanes from Europe to Pacific for first time


Thursday, June 14, 2007


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - The U.S. military said Thursday it will temporarily deploy about 20 F-16 fighter jets to South Korea, as the international standoff over North Korea's nuclear weapons program drags on.


The warplanes and about 300 airmen were set to arrive this weekend from Aviano Air Base in Italy - the first time forces from Europe have served on a rotation in the Pacific - a U.S. military statement said. The aircraft will be stationed for about four months at Kunsan Air Base.


The deployment "signifies the United States' continued commitment to regional stability and security," the military statement said.


About 29,000 U.S. soldiers are stationed in South Korea as a legacy of the Korean War, which ended in a 1953 cease-fire that has never been replaced by a peace treaty.

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