An American F-16 fighter jet experienced an "in-flight emergency" over the West Sea off South Korea and crashed early Wednesday, the U.S. military has said, adding that the pilot had been rescued.

"An F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 8th Fighter Wing here experienced an in-flight emergency over the West Sea and crashed at approximately 8:41 a.m. (23:41 GMT) today," the military said in a statement.

"The pilot ejected safely and was recovered at around 9:30 a.m. He is conscious and was transported to a medical facility for assessment."