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U.S. and South Korea Start Air Force Drills Amid Heightened Tensions

2017-12-05 08:57:03       source:New York Times

December 4, 2017

HONG KONG — The United States and South Korea began large-scale combined air force drills Monday, with plans to carry out simulated strikes on North Korean nuclear and missile testing sites, South Korean military officials said.

Some 230 aircraft will take part in the drills, which will include some of the Pentagon’s most powerful warplanes, such as stealth F-35 Lightning II fighters and B1-B Lancer bombers. They come just a week after North Korea tested a missile that analysts said had the capability of reaching much of the continental United States.

The drills were part of an annual exercise that had been planned before North Korea conducted the missile test, officials said.

The exercise is “aimed at enhancing the all-weather, day and night combined air power operation capabilities of South Korea and the U.S.,” South Korea’s defense ministry said.

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