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US, South Korea begin largest-ever air drill to counter North Korea

US, South Korea begin largest-ever air drill to counter North Korea
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Seoul: In an apparent warning to North Korea over its latest intercontinental ballistic missile test, the US and South Korea kicked off their largest-ever Air Force exercise here on Monday involving some 230 warplanes including F-22 Raptors as well as F-35 Lightning II fighters, cloaked with the world's most advanced stealth coating.

The five-day Vigilant Air Combat Exercise (ACE) came less than a week after the North fired a new ICBM and declared the completion of its "nuclear force". It is the largest-ever combined Air Force drill between the allies, involving around six F-22 Raptors, six F-35As and 12,000 personnel.
While the North Korean military maintains capable anti-air weaponry, its radar systems would be unable to detect the F-22s and F-35s, which are cloaked with the world's most advanced stealth coating, before a strike on those defensive systems, CNN reported.
Reacting to the move, the North Korea state media said that "ceaseless large-scale war games" by
Washington and Seoul are "creating a situation that a nuclear war may break out any moment".
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said it was "regrettable" that all parties had not "grasped the window of opportunity" presented by two months of relative calm before the North's most recent test. It marks the first time that six Raptors have joined an exercise simultaneously in Korea. A dozen F-35Bs operated by the US Marine Corps will take part in the training.
F-35 fighters, the Pentagon's most powerful warplanes, will include the largest number of 5th generation fighters ever to have taken part, according to a South Korea-based US Air Force spokesman.

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