US, South Korea hold air drills after North’s missile test - M5 Dergi
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US, South Korea hold air drills after North’s missile test

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Pyongyang launched new solid-fueled Hwasong-18 Intercontinental ballistic missile on Thursday

The US and South Korea held joint air exercises on Friday, a day after North Korea launched a new solid-fueled Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

The joint exercises involve B-52H bomber, South Korea’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Seoul used its F-35A radar-evading fighters and F-15K jets while Washington deployed F-16 fighters in addition to the bomber, the ministry said.

However, it did not reveal the location of the joint air exercises held on the Korean Peninsula.

The Hwasong-18 will defend North Korea, “suppress invasions, and protect the safety of the nation,” according to North Korean state media KCNA.

Seoul said: “The drills reaffirmed the capability to rapidly deploy US strategic assets to the Korean Peninsula as well as the allies’ enhanced combined operational capabilities and interoperability.”

On Thursday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un guided the latest missile launch.

Seoul’s and Washington’s joint drills also came a day after the US and Japan conducted a joint air exercise over the Sea of Japan, known as East Sea by Seoul, on Thursday.

According to Japan’s military, four US F-16 and four Japanese F-2 fighter jets took part in the drills “amid an increasingly severe security environment surrounding Japan, including North Korea’s suspected high angle ICBM-class Ballistic Missile launch.”

“This bilateral exercise reaffirms the strong intention between Japan and the United States to respond to any situation, the readiness of JSDF and US Armed Forces, and further strengthens the deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-US Alliance,” the Japanese Joint Staff said.

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