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S. Korea, U.S. begin combined drills involving F-35A stealth fighters

Defense 16:42 May 09, 2022

By Chae Yun-hwan and Song Sang-ho

SEOUL, May 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and the United States on Monday kicked off their regular air force drills involving F-35A radar-evading fighters and other key assets, sources here said.

The two-week Korea Flying Training came on the eve of the inauguration of President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, who has vowed to strengthen the alliance to counter North Korea's evolving nuclear and missile threats.

The mobilization of the F-35A warplane appears to be the allies' show of force against the North, following its launch of what was thought to be a long-range ballistic missile on Wednesday last week and an apparent submarine-launched ballistic missile three days later.

The size of this year's training is similar to those of previous years, the sources said.

The training is a scaled-back version of the large-scale Max Thunder exercise that the two countries staged in the past with the massive mobilization of their air assets and service members.

This file photo, provided by the defense ministry, shows the South Korean Air Force's F-35A stealth fighters performing an elephant walk under the command of Defense Minister Suh Wook at an unidentified air base on March 25, 2022, to show the country's combat readiness following North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test the previous day. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

yunhwanchae@yna.co.kr
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