On October 1, the South Korean fighter jets reportedly conducted a patrol flight over disputed islets called Dokdo in Korea and Takeshima in Japan. The islands have been the centre of a bitter dispute between Japan and South Korea. The South Koran President Moon Jae-in, while reportedly addressing the military claimed that the F-15K is the most powerful fighter-bomber in Northeast Asia and has returned from completing a patrol mission from Dokdo, without any problems. He further claimed that the challenges the country faced will be entirely different from those of the past.
President Moon Jae-in reportedly also reviewed military planes including an F-35, missiles and artillery systems that were displayed on the ground at the start of the ceremony at an airbase in southeastern South Korea. Moon also reportedly said he felt secure about the might of the South Korean military armed with new equipment such as F-35As that was disclosed for the first time. He further said that the South Koreans would also be very proud of the military capacity. Seoul purportedly has eight F-35 jets in its fleet and it expects 40 of the aircraft to be delivered by 2021. According to reports from May 2019, the price tag for an F-35 jet sold to the US Air Force is approximately $80million each, and the F-15K jets from the US-based Boeing cost more than $100m a piece in 2006.
South Korea and Japan have been reportedly in disagreements over compensation for forced laborers during Japan’s 1910-1945 occupation of Korea. In recent times, Japan had tightened its curbs on exports of hi-tech materials vital to South Korea's chip and display industries since then both countries have removed each other from fast-track trade status. South Korean government has also reportedly protested against Tokyo's annual defence review, which apparently made a reference to Japan owning the islands. After which South Korea's foreign minister supposedly summoned a military official at the Japanese embassy in Seoul to demand an immediate retraction.
(With inputs from agencies)