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Published On: Mon, Dec 4th, 2017

South Korea and US launch biggest-ever air force drill on Korean peninsula

nsnbc : The joint air forces of South Korea and the United States, on Monday, launched their biggest-ever joint air force drill on the Korean peninsula, reportedly involving some 230 fighter jets, bombers and other combat planes.

U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers, left and second from left, fly with South Korean and U.S. fighter jets over the Korean Peninsula, South Korea, July 8, 2017, in this photo provided by South Korean Defense Ministry.

U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers, left and second from left, fly with South Korean and U.S. fighter jets over the Korean Peninsula, South Korea, July 8, 2017, in this photo provided by South Korean Defense Ministry.

The air force of the Republic of Korea (ROK) a.k.a. South Korea noted that the combat exercise, dubbed Vigilant ACE, will be jointly conducted with the U.S. Seventh Air Force from Monday to Friday.

The drill is reportedly aimed to “enhance the wartime operation capability” of South Korean, U.S. American, as well as joint South Korean and U.S. American forces. It was estimated to be the largest-ever air force drill between the two allies as it involved more than some 12,000 personnel. ‘

The record air combat drill came less than a week after the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) a.k.a. North Korea, launched a Hwasong-15 missile. On November 29 Pyongyang described the weapons platform as  a newly developed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Experts have problems assessing or guesstimating the actual range and capability of the Hwasong-15.

The missile launched on November 29 reportedly traveled some 1,000 km after being lofted as high as 4,600 km, according to South Korea’s military. It said the DPRK missile is fired at a normal angle, and it could fly as long as 13,000 km, reaching Washington D.C. in the United States. The reported altitude is, generally-speaking, inconsistent with the flight characteristics of an ICBM.

Joining the Vigilant ACE exercise would be 24 U.S. stealth fighter jets, including six F-22 fighters from Okinawa, Japan, six F-35A combat planes and 12 F-35B stealth fighter jets from the U.S. air force base in Japan. U.S. strategic B-1B Lancer bombers reportedly planned to stage a bombing exercise during the joint air force drill. In addition, six EA-18G Growler electronic warfare jets and dozens of F-15C and F-16 fighters will be mobilized to the air combat drill. From the South Korean side, F-15K, KF-16 and FA-50 fighter jets will participate in the drill.

It should be noted that the United States still has the supreme “wartime command” over South Korean military forces even though both Seoul and Washington are keeping up the appearance that South Korea has the full peacetime command. Often “not reported” is the fact that the “peacetime command” is a theoretical or PR exercise at best, as long as there hasn’t been signed a peace treaty between the ROK and the DPRK.

Pyongyang blamed U.S. President Donald Trump for raising tensions and warned over the weekend the Vigilant Ace exercise was pushing tensions on the Korean peninsula towards “a flare-up”, according to North Korean state media.

North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country called Trump “insane” on Sunday and said the drill would “push the already acute situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war”.

The North’s KCNA state news agency, citing a Foreign Ministry spokesman, also said on Saturday the Trump administration was “begging for nuclear war by staging an extremely dangerous nuclear gamble on the Korean peninsula”.

CH/L – nsnbc 04.12.2017

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  1. ..”we came, we saw, he died”, this one served chocolate cake, and while those were eaten, briefed the honorable visiting president of the major economic power, the 50 cruse missiles are in the punishing flight towards their targets.. Too many examples of how cowboys perform the warfare.
    This now is too tight and can generate global disaster in no time while pistoleros believe they will pass unpunished.
    leaving us all liberty to sit and watch in what disaster the irresponsible people are pushing the planet.

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