Washington: US Navy officials scrambled four fighter jets on Tuesday to intercept two Russian TU-142 Bear warplanes flying within one mile of the SS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier in the Sea of Japan, Stars and Stripes first reported.
Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told Reuters on Thursday afternoon that the incident was considered safe.
“There was nothing to indicate they were posing a direct threat,” he said.
At the time, US Navy officials were carrying out training exercises with South Korean ships. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that the US previously voiced concern over unprofessional conduct by Russian aircraft in recent weeks.
“This was a little bit different than that. These are international waters,” he said, according to Reuters.
Navy Commander William Marks echoed Mr Earnest’s comments during an interview with Fox News. “We would characterize this as still at a safe distance. This kind of interaction is not unprecedented,” he said.
Still, the US fighter jets escorted the Russian warplanes from the area.