Friday, 19 October, 2018

S. Korea says allies' ongoing air drill is defensive in nature

US begin five-day military drill In warning to Pyongyang, US deploys F 22 Raptors for joint drill with Seoul
Kenny Thornton | 04 December, 2017, 09:05

Called Vigilant Ace, the five-day drill is meant to improve the allies' wartime capabilities, South Korea's defence ministry said.

The US 7th Air Force deployed major strategic military assets including six F-22 and 18 F-35 stealth fighter jets for the regular exercise in the Korean Peninsula.

U.S. Air Force aircraft arrived in South Korea on Saturday to participate in a joint aerial drill just a week after North Korea launched a ballistic missile.

Operations Command and the Seventh Air Force will conduct the annual exercise named "Vigilant Ace" until Friday, South Korean Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced on Monday.

Part of the USA force taking part in the wargames, including a dozen of F-35B stealth jets, will fly from a Japanese airbase, where they have been stationed.

Moon Sang-gyun, a defense ministry spokesperson, said the objective of the joint air combat drill was to "enhance the capability of executing combined operations in wartime".

Aircraft taking part will be flown from eight USA and South Korean military installations.

USGS: 3.1 Magnitude Earthquake Recorded In Kingfisher Co
Carberry, who is from the West Coast, said she told co-workers, "I'm pretty sure this is an natural disaster ". A small quake shook up residents in Kingfisher County, late Friday afternoon.

About 12,000 USA personnel and 230 aircraft will take part in the drill.

South Korean officials insisted the exercise is only for the defensive purposes.

A spokesman for the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland said in a statement on Sunday that the war game is a grave military provocation that will bring the already volatile situation on the Korean Peninsula to a touch-and-go situation leading to a nuclear war.

South Korean media reports said B-1B Lancer bombers could join the exercise this week. "The government will not comment on every reaction by North Korea", said Baik Tae-hyun, a spokesman for Seoul's unification ministry.

A spokesman for the DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday condemned the "largest ever" drill, accusing it of being "unprecedented in its size and nature of simulating actual combat situation as well as in the number of the USA major strategic assets".

The North has boasted that the Hwasong 15 ICBM tested on Wednesday is capable of delivering a "super-large" nuclear warhead anywhere in the United States mainland.

South Korea and the U.S. seek to pressurize North Korea to return to the negotiating table to abandon its nuclear programme.

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