The joint military exercise with F-35A jet fighters was held amid new tensions with North Korea

The US and South Korea have deployed the F-35A fifth-generation stealth jet fighters in a joint exercise for the first time amid new tensions with Pyongyang.

The allies completed a four-day drill involving more than 30 jets from both countries, the South Korean Air Force said on Thursday.

“The training is an important exercise that symbolizes the strong South Korea-US alliance and combined defense posture,” Air Force Major Kwon Hae-bin said, as cited by the Korea Times.

“The pilots of the two countries were able to share the tactical and operational know-how of the fifth-generation fighters through the exercises,” Kwon added.

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South Korea vows ‘stern’ retaliation

The exercise took place after the South Korean military accused Pyongyang of conducting military launches on Sunday.

Yonhap news agency quoted a South Korean defense source saying that the North fired another artillery round on Monday, presumably from a multiple rocket launcher.

Though it has refrained from nuclear tests, North Korea has conducted a flurry of missile trials in recent months, breaking a self-imposed 2018 moratorium.

Last month, the South Korean military reported that Pyongyang fired eight short-range ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan, prompting President Yoon Suk-yeol to warn in June that his country would retaliate against any “provocations” from the North.

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