The US will hold a regular joint air forces drill with South Korea in early December, deploying six F-22 Raptor stealth fighters in the exercise, Reuters quoted a South Korean defense ministry official as saying on Friday.
The drill, called Vigilant Ace, will run from Dec. 4 to 8, the official said. The F-22 stealth fighters will be joined by F-35 aircraft, a US Air Force official said.
The Vigilant Ace drill is held regularly by the US and South Korea to simulate wartime defenses.
About 12,000 US personnel will participate with South Korean troops while 230 aircraft will be flown at eight US and South Korean military installations, the US. Seventh Air Force said in a news statement.
US Marine Corps and Navy troops will also participate, it added.
“This realistic combat exercise is designed to enhance interoperability between US and Republic of Korea forces and increase the combat effectiveness of both nations,” it said.
The exercise comes as North Korea continues to press forward with developing its nuclear and missile program, in defiance of global condemnation and sanctions, though it has not held tests for two months.
Pyongyang strongly protests against joint drills of this nature, which it views as aggression against the isolated state.
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