SEOUL, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) — The United States will dispatch nuclear-capable F-22 stealth fighters to South Korea in an apparent show of force to militarily pressure the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Yonhap news agency reported Tuesday citing military authorities.

Four F-22 fighters, one of U.S. strategic assets that have been estimated to be sent to show joint defense readiness between Seoul and Washington, will make a sortie on Wednesday to the Korean peninsula.

The F-22 fighter has a stealth function of escaping any radar detection, capable of carrying nuclear missiles and bombs.

Its operational range reaches as far as 2,177 km. The F-22 fighters deployed at a U.S. air base in Okinawa, Japan can fly to the Korean peninsula in about two hours.

The F-22 sortie would come in the wake of the DPRK's long-range rocket launch on Feb. 7, which outsiders see as a test of banned ballistic missile technology, following Pyongyang's fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6, the first of its disputed H-bomb test.

Four days after the DPRK's nuclear detonation last month, the U. S. military sent a long-range B-52 bomber, capable of delivering nuclear bombs, over South Korea's airspace from the U.S. air base in Guam.

The B-52 bomber can infiltrate at the highest altitude of 55, 000 feet, or 16.8 km, carrying 35 conventional bombs and 12 cruise missiles.

It can deliver air-to-ground nuclear missiles with a range of 200 km and air-launched cruise missiles with a range of 2,500 km to 3,000 km.

In addition, the U.S. recently dispatched a nuclear-powered submarine to the peninsula.