US, South Korea conduct joint air drills with fighter jets, bombers

Air forces of the United States and South Korea on Sunday (March 19) conducted a combined air drill led by B-1B bombers. This drill was part of the ongoing joint drills dubbed “Freedom Shield 23”

A video by South Korea’s defence ministry showed two bombers flying in with South Korean F-35A jets and American F-16. As the exercises went on, North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile towards the sea off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula.

A South Korean military statement said that the missile flew some 800 km before hitting a target.

The North on Thursday (March 16) fired a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) into the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan, hours before South Korea’s president flew to Tokyo for a summit that discussed ways to counter the North.

Pyongyang said Thursday’s launch of its ICBM was a warning against ongoing U.S.-South Korea military drills, state media KCNA reported.

North Korea has carried out unprecedented numbers of missile tests in the past one year. The nuclear-armed nation has drawn international condemnation, particularly from the US.

(With inputs from agencies)

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