South Korea has announced a plan to purchase 20 additional F-35 fighter jets from the United States, in a move that is likely to infuriate North Korea which has already warned Seoul against the deployment of the jets in the region, Presstv Reported.
The South’s arms procurement agency announced on Friday that it will begin the second phase of its plan to acquire stealthy fighter jets "in 2021 for the five years to come."
Some $3.3 billion will go toward buying the additional Lockheed Martin-made aircraft, said the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).
Seoul has already ordered 40 F-35 under a 2014 deal worth about $6.4 billion.
James Jatras, a former Senate foreign policy adviser in Washington, told Press TV on Saturday that the “purchase of these aircraft by South Korea is just another instance where it is back to business as usual on the Korean peninsula because the talks between North Korea and the United Sates have stalled, that this means further confrontation, further escalation.”
“I don’t know what can be done to get things back on track. It seems that the Trump administration is totally paralyzed now by the impeachment controversy and that Mr. Trump really has no ability to move forward on what we believe is his agenda which is to resolve the Korean conflict and to get the US forces out of it, just as he had no real ability to follow through when he desired to get the US forces out of Syria,” he added.
“I hope he will find some way to do that but right now it just seems that we are going back to escalation and confrontation, and that’s very unfortunate and very dangerous,” he concluded.