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S. Korea, US begin massive air combat drills against Pyongyang

TOKYO, Dec 4 (KUNA) -- South Korea and the US kicked off a major air force exercise on Monday against North Korea's threats, Yonhap News Agency reported.
The five-day drill in South Korea comes less than a week after the North fired a new intercontinental ballistic missile and declared the completion of its "nuclear force." The training is the largest-ever combined air force drill between the allies, involving more than 230 warplanes and around 12,000 personnel. They include six F-22 Raptors and six F-35As, which have been deployed temporarily to Korea for the practice. A dozen F-35Bs operated by the US Marine Corps will also take part in the training, flying from their base in Japan.
"It's aimed at enhancing the all-weather, day and night combined air power operation capabilities of South Korea and the US," South Korea's Defense Ministry said.
The allies will conduct the drills under various wartime scenarios, including simulated precision strikes on mock North Korean nuclear and missile targets, it added. (end) mk.hb