Fighter jets prepare to ‘punish’ North Korea with air strike on ‘key military forces’

2:08:00 AM



Fighter jets carried out mocked attacks on North Korean military facilities and troops as part of a week-long air combat exercise.

South Korea’s Air Force said it is holding the exercise to prepare for potential air attacks by the communist nation amid heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The eight-day military drill, codenamed Soaring Eagle, will involve around 500 air crew and 50 aircraft, including F-15K and F-16 fighter jets.

As part of the exercise, South Korean air troops will be exposed to real war scenarios, such as a sudden North Korean artillery attack, the Air Force said.

Colonel Won In-jae, who commanded the exercise, said the drill shows South Korea is ready for battle should North Korea attack.

He said: "We are thoroughly prepared to respond to any kind of enemy provocation in a prompt and resolute manner.

"Our forces are determined to punish the enemy with our invincible air power."

The Air Force has carried out the Soaring Eagle air combat exercise twice a year since 2008.

But it comes amid spiralling animosity in the region after North Korea staged its sixth and largest nuclear test.

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