U.S., South Korea begin massive military exercises amid North Korean warnings of nuclear war
US fighter jets roared over South Korea on Monday as the United States and South Korea launched massive joint aerial drills on Monday.
The drills come amid increased tensions with North Korea over its nuclear program and recent ballistic missile tests.
The five-day Vigilant Ace exercise includes some 12,000 military personnel and 230 aircraft – including six F-22 and 18 F-35s, both with stealth capabilities.
South Korean media said B-1 bombers would also participate in the exercise, but the Air Force declined to confirm that.
A US 7th Air Force official said the top-of-the-line F-22s are being joined by Air Force and Marine Corps F-35s in the largest concentration of fifth-generation fighter jets ever in South Korea.
The annual U.S.-South Korean drill, called Vigilant Ace, will run until Friday.
F-35 fighters will also join the drill, which will also include the largest number of 5th generation fighters to take part, according to a South Korea-based U.S. Air Force spokesman.
Around 12,000 U.S. service members, including from the Marines and Navy, will join South Korean troops.
North Korea state media said Monday that “ceaseless large-scale war games” by the US and South Korea are “creating a situation that a nuclear war may break out any moment.”