The Korea Herald

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S. Korea, U.S. stage joint live-fire air exercise

By Yonhap

Published : Aug. 31, 2023 - 19:48

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A South Korean F-15K fighter jet fires a GBU-56 air-to-surface missile at a target in the Yellow Sea on Thursday, in this photo provided by the Air Force. A South Korean F-15K fighter jet fires a GBU-56 air-to-surface missile at a target in the Yellow Sea on Thursday, in this photo provided by the Air Force.

South Korea and the United States staged combined live-fire air drills Thursday to bolster their precision strike capabilities, as part of the allies' key annual military exercise.

Seoul's Air Force said the drills mobilized some 30 aircraft, including South Korean F-35A radar-evading jets, armed with various missiles, in connection with the Ulchi Freedom Shield exercise set to end Thursday.

During the live-fire exercise over the Yellow Sea, the South's F-35A, F-15K and KF-16 fighters fired air-to-air missiles to intercept a simulated enemy cruise missile. The F-15K and KF-16 jets then proceeded to release guided bombs to strike the origin of provocation by the enemy.

The U.S. Air Force's A-10 attack aircraft and the South's FA-50 light attack aircraft also took part in the drills, staging missile and guided bomb strikes to neutralize other simulated enemy targets.

The UFS exercise, which began on Aug. 21, is designed to strengthen the allies' combined defense posture against North Korean military threats. Pyongyang has long accused the combined South Korea-U.S. drills of being rehearsals for an invasion against it.

North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea late Wednesday in response to the allies' air exercise staged hours earlier, involving at least one U.S. B-1B strategic bomber. (Yonhap)