Pyongyang threat: 240 aircraft over Korea, 100 of them US Air Force
SEOUL ($1=1,427.55 South Korean Wons) — 24-hour emergency air operations begin over South Korea. 140 combat aircraft, including Korean F-35, F-15K, and KF-16 will defend the skies over the “southern” peninsula. Together with its Korean partners, the US is raising 100 combat aircraft, among them the F-35B, EA-18 electronic warfare aircraft, KC-135 tankers, and high-altitude U-2 reconnaissance aircraft. American fighter jets take off from an air base in Okinawa, Japan.
24-hour operations will continue continuously until November 4th. The reason: a nuclear missile launch from North Korea is only a matter of time. Pyongyang’s latest ballistic missile launches have been of short range, causing concern for South Korea and the United States.
Only a month ago, obsolete Russian fighter jets, totaling 150 in number, conducted exercises. Pyongyang took to the air the vintage Su-25, MiG-29, MiG-23, MiG-21, and MiG-19 aircraft.
What is currently happening on the Korean peninsula is framed as an exercise between South Korea and the United States. The exercise is codenamed Vigilant Storm. The US and South Korea have described Vigilant Storm as a deterrence exercise, while Pyongyang has stressed that it is an invasion exercise.
This is not the first such exercise between the two partner countries. The last such exercise was held in 2015, but then, in 2018, the US and South Korea called it off in a bid to promote inter-Korean harmony.
“[South Korea] and the U.S. Air Force will work together with the joint services to conduct major air missions such as close air support, defensive counter-air attack, and emergency air operations 24 hours a day during the training period,” the Air Force said on USA. “Supporting forces on the ground will also train on base defense and survivability procedures in the event of an attack.”
North Korea busiest year
2022 was the busiest year in North Korea’s history for ballistic missile tests. Pyongyang has launched a total of 28 launches this year. One of the missiles of the North Korean regime even flew over the whole of Japan and headed for the rocky Senkaku Islands. The Senkaku are under Japanese possession, but it is contested by China and Taiwan, while North Korea apparently has no qualms about “parking” its missiles near them.
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