United States, South Korea start massive air force drills

Donald Trump, Moon Jae-in
President Donald Trump, left, speaks as South Korean President Moon Jae-in looks on during a joint news conference at the Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. President Trump began his two-day Korean peninsula visit Tuesday walking amid weapons of war but voicing optimism for peace. Trump is on a five country trip through Asia traveling to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – The United States and South Korea have started their biggest-ever joint air force exercise with hundreds of aircrafts including two dozen stealth jets.

South Korea’s defense ministry said Monday the five-day drill called Vigilant Ace will improve their capabilities in wartime.

The U.S. 7th Air Force deployed major strategic military assets including six F-22 and 18 F-35 stealth fighter jets for the regular exercise in the Korean Peninsula. About 12,000 U.S. military personnel are participating.

It takes places a week after North Korea test-launched its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile that puts most of the U.S. within range.

On Sunday, Senator Lindsey Graham said it is time for U.S. military families in South Korea to leave the country because the conflict with North Korea is getting close.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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