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    This picture taken by the Republic of Korea Air Force on January 10, 2016 and released via Yonhap news agency shows a US B-52 Stratofortress (bottom R) flying with South Korean F-15K fighter jets (top) and US F-16 fighter jets (bottom L) over South Korea

    S Korea, US Begin Air Defense Exercises as N Korea Set to Launch Drills Thursday

    © AFP 2019 / YONHAP
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    North Korea Rocket Launch Plans (76)
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    South Korea and the United States launched their annual aerial exercise amid North Korean expected air defense drills.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — South Korea and the United States launched their annual aerial exercise, set to run until December 5, as North Korea is expected to begin large-scale air defense drills on Thursday, amid tensions on the Korean peninsula, local media reported Wednesday.

    According to the YTN news channel, South Korea and the United States havebegun conducting the large-scale air defense Vigilant ACE exercises, aimed at countering North Korea’s nuclear and missile capabilities.

    The exercise would focus on simulating strikes on radar systems, mobile missile launchers and other key military facilities of North Korea, the news channel said. The drills involve up to 450 US and South Korean troops as well as South Korean KF-16 and F-15K and US F-16 fighter jets, and an EA-18G Growler electronics warfare plane, according to the news channel.

    At the same time, the Yonhap news agency reported that North Korea is set to launch on large-scale air defense drills near the Pyongyang’s Sunan airport on Thursday.

    The news come as the UN Security Council is set to vote on a new draft resolution on sanctions against North Korea over its unlawful missile and nuclear tests later in the day.

    On September 5, Pyongyang launched three ballistic missiles in the direction of the Sea of Japan. Several days later it conducted successful test of a nuclear warhead, which is believed to be the fifth and largest blast since Pyongyang began pursuing nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

    On October 14, North Korea carried out a failed test of the Musadan intermediate-range ballistic missile near the northwestern city of Kusong.

    North Korea Rocket Launch Plans (76)


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