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Attendees at North Korean air show wowed by miniature F-16

One of the most popular planes at North Koreas first air show is remote-controlled mock-up of fabled US Air Force fighter

Now heres something you dont see every day: an F-16 fighter jet buzzing through the skies of North Korea and launching fireworks.

The plane roaring over peoples heads at the countrys first air show Sunday was actually a remote-controlled mock-up of the fabled US Air Force fighter.

The scale models of the F-16 and a Chinese J-10 fighter were featured on the second day of the Wonsan International Friendship Air festival.

The choice of flying a one-sixth scale F-16 at the show was an odd one considering the outrage North Korea regularly expresses over the presence of US troops and Air Force bases in South Korea.

The North was particularly outraged over recent flights by B-1B Lancer bombers, which are capable of dropping nuclear weapons, near the Demilitarized Zone that divides the Koreas in a display of power after the Norths fifth nuclear test, conducted on 9 September.

The model fighters did, however, appear to please the crowd watching the air displays at Wonsans newly renovated Kalma airport.

Thousands of North Koreans and hundreds of foreign tourists and journalists invited to the event which is intended to showcase Wonsans tourism appeal, were given a rare glimpse of North Koreas own air force fighters, including a MiG-29 and SU-25 ground attack fighter, acquired from Russia.

Kalma airport was long used by the Norths military but was upgraded and rebuilt to handle commercial flights, though it is unclear how it would fit into national flag-carrier Air Koryos very limited international flight schedule.

The final day also included a demonstration of military parachuting, with the first two skydivers descending with huge North Korean and ruling party flags.

Officials refused to comment on the origin of the model F-16.
The air shows first day opened with an aerobatic display by US-made Hughes MD 500 military-use helicopters, the origin of which has raised questions of whether international sanctions against North Korea were violated.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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