Russia sends nuclear-capable bombers on mission near South Korea, Japan
Russia's Defence Ministry said in a statement the Tupolev-95MS bombers, code named "Bears" by NATO, flew over neutral waters and were accompanied by Russian Sukhoi-35S fighter jets and A-50 early warning and control aircraft.
It gave no details about the overall number of aircraft that had taken part in what it called a pre-arranged flight and did not say when or why the mission took place.
The TU-95MS bombers were refueled in mid-air during the mission, the ministry said.
During parts of the route, the bombers were escorted by South Korean and Japanese military jets, it added.
Russia, which shares a border with North Korea, has repeatedly voiced concerns about rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula caused by Pyongyang's nuclear missile program, and has complained about Japan's plans to deploy a U.S. anti-missile system on its soil.