Hundreds of aircraft including two dozen stealth jets began training Monday as the United States and South Korea launched a massive combined Air Force exercise.
The war games come a week after North Korea test-fired its most powerful missile ever, an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that may be able to target the eastern seaboard of the U.S.
South Korea’s Defense Ministry said the five-day drill, which is called Vigilant Ace, is meant to improve the allies’ wartime capabilities.
The U.S. Seventh Air Force sent major strategic military assets that include 6 F-22 and 18 F-35 stealth fighter jets for the annual training exercise in the Korean peninsula. About 12,000 American military personnel are participating.
North Korea’s state media said the joint drill pushes the Korean peninsula "to the brink of nuclear war." Such language is typical in North Korean propaganda because the country sees U.S.-South Korean drills, which are held regularly, as preparation for invasion.