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US, South Korea launch largest aerial drill amidst North Korean threat

The United States of America and South Korea have launched their largest-ever joint aerial drill called ‘Vigilant Ace’, which would see participation from around 12,000 US service members and more than 230 aircrafts.

Dec 4, 2017 10:17 IST
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The United States of America and South Korea launched their largest-ever joint aerial drill called ‘Vigilant Ace’ on 4 December 2017. It would conclude on 8 December 2017.

Around 12,000 US service members, including members of the Marines and Navy, would be joining the South Korean troops on the occasion.

Key Highlights

• The annual drill would see participation from six F-22 Raptor stealth fighters and more than 230 aircrafts.

• F-35 fighters will also join the drill along with the largest number of 5th generation fighters.

• The participating aircrafts will be flown from eight US and South Korean military installations.

• The Joint drill has been designed to enhance readiness and operational capability of the two sides.

• It also aims to ensure peace and security on the Korean peninsula.

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Significance

The move comes a week after North Korea confirmed that it had successfully tested its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile as a part of its illegal weapons programme that has raised global tensions.

The isolated North has condemned the exercise and called it an act of provocation.

North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country stated that the drill would “push the already acute situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war”.

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