Amid heightened military tensions within the Korean peninsula, a U.S. military helicopter crashed Tuesday near the North Korean border with no apparent casualties, officials said.
The helicopter was reportedly taking part in a joint South Korea-U.S. drill, officials said, as reported by AFP news agency.
In what a U.S. official described the crash as a "hard landing" in Cheolwon county, which touches on the border with North Korea, no casualties were reported.
A U.S. military official identified the aircraft as a CH-53 US Marine helicopter that was carrying three crew and 13 other personnel during a training exercise.
The Yonhap news agency had previously identified the helicopter as a UH-60 Black Hawk with 12 personnel on board.
The Korean peninsula is currently at a state of heightened military tensions, partly due to North Korea's anger over the ongoing South Korea-US military exercises, which it sees as an invasion rehearsal.
There are 28,500 U.S. military personnel permanently stationed in South Korea.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a stark warning to North Korea on Friday not to test-fire a mid-range missile, while tamping down anxiety caused by a new U.S. intelligence report suggesting significant progress in the communist regime's nuclear weapons program.
Kicking off four days of talks in an East Asia beset by increasing North Korean threats, Kerry told reporters in Seoul that Pyongyang and its enigmatic young leader would only increase their isolation if they launched the missile that American officials believe has a range of some 2,500 miles - or enough to reach the U.S. territory of Guam.
“If Kim Jong Un decides to launch a missile, whether it’s across the Sea of Japan or some other direction, he will be choosing willfully to ignore the entire international community,” Kerry told reporters. “And it will be a provocation and unwanted act that will raise people’s temperatures.”
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