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S. Korea, US begin large-scale air drills amid N. Korea threats

S. Korea, US begin large-scale air drills amid N. Korea threats

South Korea and the US kicked off a joint air exercise Friday, involving some 100 warplanes, to strengthen their readiness against North Korean military threats, Yonhap News Agency reported.

The two-week Korea Flying Training got under way at Kunsan Air Base in Gunsan, 178 kilometers south of Seoul, with plans to mobilize around 25 types of aircraft, including US F-35B and South Korean F-35A stealth fighters, according to a joint release.

The exercise, which will also involve US Army and Marine Corps personnel, focuses on integrating advanced fighter jet operations, enhancing precision strike capabilities, and training troops on combat search and rescue scenarios and mass paratrooper airdrops, it said.

“Our ability to train together at this scope enhances interoperability and enables our forces to be ready for any potential situations,” said Col. Charles G. Cameron, director of operations and plans at the US 7th Air Force in South Korea, in the release.

Korea Flying Training is one of the two regular lar
ge-scale air exercises the allies hold every year.

The exercise comes as tensions run high from North Korea’s continued weapons tests this year, including its April 2 launch of a purported solid-fuel intermediate-range ballistic missile tipped with a hypersonic warhead.

During his visit to the Kim Jong-il University of Military and Politics earlier this week, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un vowed to mobilize all means to deal a “death-blow” to the country’s enemy without hesitation should it opt for military confrontation with the North, the official Korean Central News Agency reported on Thursday.

Source: Kuwait News Agency