On Monday, the United States and South Korea commenced their annual Vigilant Defense military drills, consisting of 130 warplanes from both countries. The exercises will continue until Friday and will include various aircraft, such as variants of the F-35 stealth fighter.
The aim of the drills is to enhance operational cooperation between the two militaries through significant air missions like air-to-surface live fire drills, defensive counter air operations, and other emergency training.
South Korea’s military issued a statement vowing to maintain high combat readiness to respond quickly and harshly to any enemy provocation by conducting intense training that simulates real-life situations.
The drills coincide with North Korea’s increased military cooperation with Russia, which has been condemned by the United States and its Asian allies as Pyongyang’s attempt to advance its military capabilities in exchange for arms support to Moscow. Pyongyang has long opposed joint exercises between the United States and South Korea, calling them a rehearsal for invasion and evidence of hostile policies by Washington and Seoul.