South Korea, US quietly hold joint air exercises amid calls for talks with North Korea | Inquirer News
Close  

South Korea, US quietly hold joint air exercises amid calls for talks with North Korea

/ 03:13 PM November 01, 2021
South Korea, US quietly hold joint air exercises amid calls for talks with North Korea

FILE PHOTO: The South Korean and American flags fly next to each other at Yongin, South Korea, August 23, 2016. Picture taken on August 23, 2016. Courtesy Ken Scar/U.S. Army/Handout via REUTERS

SEOUL South Korea and the United States kicked off joint aerial drills on Monday, a military official in Seoul said, amid tensions over North Korea’s recent missile tests and calls for a restart of denuclearisation talks.

The exercises, previously called Vigilant Ace, once mobilized tens of thousands of troops and hundreds of cutting-edge fighter jets, bombers, and other warplanes.

ADVERTISEMENT

But the program has been scaled back since 2017 to facilitate talks aimed at ending Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs in return for U.S. sanctions relief.

The allies began the drills, which will last five days, without announcing or naming them. Yonhap said that some 100 aircraft were dispatched from each side, including South Korea’s F-15Ks and KF-16s and U.S. F-16s, but that no equipment or soldiers from the U.S. mainland would join the exercises.

FEATURED STORIES

A South Korean air force spokesman declined to confirm the report.

The drills came after North Korea fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile, the latest in its recent series of weapons tests.

The reclusive country sees exercises in the South as a rehearsal for war, and severed inter-Korean hotlines when the allies held regular summer training in August, accusing Seoul of “perfidious behavior.”

The U.S. envoy for North Korea, Sung Kim, slammed the test as “concerning and counterproductive” during his visit to Seoul last week and urged Pyongyang to accept offers to talks.

The North has so far rebuffed U.S. overtures, accusing Washington and Seoul of applying “double standards” by criticizing its weapons programs while talking diplomacy and stoking tension with their own military activities.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Military Exercises, North korea, nuclear, South korea, US, Vigilant Ace, weapons
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.