U.S. and South Korean aircraft will take part in a joint training operation designed to simulate strikes against North Korea’s nuclear facilities, an unidentified military source told Yonhap News Agency.
The simulation will reportedly take place during the Red Flag exercises scheduled to be held at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska from Oct. 3-21.
“The drill will be held with the scenario of a sudden missile attack from North Korea. The drill is also designed to practice striking the North’s nuclear and other core military facilities,” Yonhap’s source revealed.
South Korean F-15Ks and C-130 Hercules transport planes will take part in the upcoming exercises. During the exercises, South Korea’s F-15Ks may use GBU-31 guided joint direct attack munition (JDAM) “bunker buster” bombs to mimic an attack on North Korea’s Yeongbyeon nuclear facility.
Red Flag exercises have been conducted regularly since 1975. These drills are opportunities for the U.S. and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies to train together for real combat scenarios.
Since North Korea launched three ballistic missiles Sept. 5 and conducted its fifth nuclear test Sept. 9, the U.S., South Korea, and Japan have been searching for new ways to put pressure on North Korea and bring an end to its nuclear program.
[dcquiz] Foreign ministers from the U.S., South Korea, and Japan met in New York Sunday before the U.N. meetings to discuss the North Korean nuclear threat destabilizing the Korean peninsula and threatening security in the region. The three parties called for “tougher international pressure” against the North’s nuclear activities in a joint statement,
In addition to pursuing the strongest sanctions possible, the U.S. and its regional partners have also been considering military responses to North Korean provocations.
B-1B nuclear-capable bombers accompanied by four South Korean F-15s and F-16s flew over South Korea in a show of force and solidarity Sept. 13. South Korea is developing its Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation (KMPR) plan, which is supposedly designed to reduce Pyongyang to ashes and remove it from the map. The U.S. and South Korea are also still planning to move ahead with their plans for the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile shield next year.
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