The training was launched hours after Pyongyang fired an apparent ballistic weapon
South Korean F-35 jet fighters practiced hitting mock North Korean missile launcher vehicles with laser-guided bombs during a joint exercise with the US on Friday. The drill took place hours after Pyongyang fired an apparent intercontinental ballistic missile, according to the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).
The live-fire exercise was conducted at Pilsung Range in the northeastern Gangwon Province, which shares a border with North Korea. The JCS said that four F-35As flew in attack formation together with four US F-16 fighters.
The maneuvers demonstrated the allies' ability to "respond resolutely to any threats and provocations, including North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile," the JCS stated.
The launch on Friday was the latest in a barrage of artillery rounds and missiles of different types fired by Pyongyang this month into the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan, known to Koreans as the East Sea, on Wednesday
North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui warned on Thursday that the country will have a "fiercer" response to "deterrence" measures by the US and its allies in Asia. Choe slammed Washington's drills with South Korea and Japan as "exercises for aggression."
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South Korea's minister responsible for relations with Pyongyang, Kwon Young-se, said that Seoul may have to consider acquiring its own nuclear arsenal or asking the US to deploy tactical nuclear weapons to the Korean Peninsula if the tensions continue to grow.