02:15 GMT +321 March 2019
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    The armed forces of the United States and South Korea have kicked off their annual air drills, Vigilant Ace, slated for December 4-8. The exercises are taking place days after North Korea launched a Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, which fell into the Sea of Japan.


    Washington has brought its advanced stealth F-22 Raptor fifth-generation fighters to the drills, which feature some 230 aircraft. The Pentagon expects that the event will "remove any 'exercise' mindset from the equation and maximize the realism of every response."

    With Pyongyang and Washington pointing the finger at each other for stocking tensions in the region, the missile launches and massive drills hardly pave the way for settling the conflict.

    military drills, F-22 Raptor, Pentagon, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), United States, South Korea
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