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.
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.