North Korea has announced that it considers South Korea's deployment of new US stealth fighters as an "extremely dangerous action" that would require it to use "special armaments" to shoot them down, according to report by AFP.
South Korea, a major US ally, received its first two F-35A jets in March under a $7 billion contract. The country plans to deploy another 40 of the state-of-the-art jets by the end of 2021, with around a quarter of those expected to be operational this year.
The South Korean authorities "know well that the bringing-in of the Fighters would prove to be an extremely dangerous action which will trigger our reaction," an unnamed researcher at the Institute for American Studies of North Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
"We … have no other choice but to develop and test the special armaments to completely destroy the lethal weapons reinforced in South Korea," the anonymous writer added.
The two neighbours are technically still at war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended with a ceasefire instead of a peace treaty.
The North is enduring several sets of economic sanctions, imposed over its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, and these currently block many proposed developments in sectors from industry to tourism.