November 20, 2018

South Korea, US kick off large-scale air exercise amid North Korean warnings

08 December 2017, 09:28 | Devin Moran

China, Russia Stage Drills to Counter S.Korea-US Exercise

Exercise Vigilant Ace 18 kicks off

The aircraft entered the Korean Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ) over the waters south of Jeju Island and conducted simulated bombing drills over the Yellow Sea near North Korea and China, according to the official, cited by Yonhap. Two dozen USA stealth fighter jets took part in the drills, six of them F-22s, six of them F-35As, as well as a dozen F-35Bs, marking the first time the highly-advanced jets have cruised the skies above Korea at the same time.

The exercise marks the second time this week that the United States has dispatched the aircraft as part of Vigilant Ace.

Some analysts and diplomats hope Feltman's visit to the North could spark a United Nations -led effort to defuse rising worldwide tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs. That led to events such as the Able Archer incident in 1983 where the Kremlin mistook a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation exercise as preparations to launch a nuclear first strike against the Soviet Union-the closest Washington and Moscow ever came to World War III. The exercise gives aircrews and air support operations personnel from various airframes, military services and our Republic of Korea partners an opportunity to integrate and practice combat operations against realistic air and ground threats.

A B-1B Lancer bomber of the U.S. Air Force flies over Korea in formation with the allies' fighter jets on December 6, 2017, in this photo provided by South Korea's Air Force.

A F-15 from Kadena Air Base, Japan, lands at Gwangju Air Base, Republic of Korea, Dec. 01, 2017. The U.S. Air Force spokesman could not confirm the reports.

A total of 12,000 USA service members are taking part in the annual Vigilant Ace drills alongside South Korean troops.

But very few believe these, or other war games, will halt Kim Jong-un's quest to build a functioning nuclear-tipped rocket.

The drills come a week after North Korea said it had tested its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile ever in defiance of global sanctions and condemnation.

Russian Federation and China remain behind a so-called "double-freeze" proposal, which would see the United States suspend joint drills with South Korea in exchange for Pyongyang halting its missile and nuclear tests.

The White House might certainly consider sort of attempt to launch a disarming strike against North Korea. "If north Korea is not going to accept it, then the not going to accept it".

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