US and S. Korea conduct largest-ever combined air drills to provoke N. Korea

The United States and South Korea began one of their largest combined military air drills on Monday, with hundreds of warplanes from both sides staging mock attacks 24 hours a day for the better part of a week.

The operation, called Vigilant Storm, will run until Friday, and feature about 240 warplanes, including variants of the F-35 stealth fighter from both the US and South Korea, conducting about 1,600 sorties, the US Air Force said.

Washington and Seoul believe Pyongyang may be about to resume testing of nuclear bombs for the first time since 2017 and have embraced a strategy of "deterring" Pyongyang through major military drills that some current and former officials say may exacerbate tensions.

North Korea on Monday demanded that the US and South Korea stop the joint drills, calling them a provocation that may draw "more powerful follow-up measures" from Pyongyang.

(Source: Reuters) 


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