02:22 GMT +318 August 2019
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    A US Army AH-64 Apache helicopter flies over a village in Naray, in Afghanistan's eastern Kunar province on April 16, 2009

    US Apache Attack Helicopters Enter Service on Korean Peninsula

    © AFP 2019 / LIU Jin
    Asia & Pacific
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    South Korea’s Kiowa Warrior helicopters have conducted their final exercises before being replaced by US-built Apaches. On Wednesday the Vietnam War-era warcraft carried out maneuvers at the Rodriguez Live Fire Range military base. In a joint exercise with M1A2 Abrams tanks and AH-64 Apaches, the helicopters attacked stationary targets.

    In January the US Forces Korea deployed the 24 AH-64D Apaches that replaced the OH-58D Kiowas. 

    The 2nd Infantry Division’s public affairs office said, "During the exercise, OH-Kiowa helicopters performed a symbolic passing of the torch mid-air," according to Stripes.com.

    The single-rotor, single-engine Kiowa debuted in 1966, and was deployed in South Korea, Afghanistan and Iraq. The modernization of Seoul’s Army comes as they face a nuclear threat from Pyongyang.

    In September 2016 US B1 bombers flew over the Korean peninsula, flanked by South Korean and Japanese jets, as a show of force against Pyongyang who has continued ballistic missile tests despite UN sanctions and international calls for denuclearization.

    North Korea bristled at the demands, with the Korean Central News Agency warning, "Any sanction, provocation and pressure cannot ruin our status as a nuclear state and evil political and military provocations will only result in a flood of reckless nuclear attacks that will bring a final destruction."

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    Tags:
    Helicopter, Kiowa, Apache, South Korean Army, United States, South Korea
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