The air forces of South Korea, the U.S. and Japan staged their first-ever trilateral air drill on Sunday to present a united front against closer cooperation between North Korea, China and Russia.
"The drill was staged on Sunday afternoon in an area where the air defense identification zones of Korea and Japan overlap south of the Korean Peninsula," the Air Force here said.
South Korea sent F-15K fighters, the U.S. F-16s, and Japan F-2s, which flew in formation escorting a B-52H bomber from the U.S. capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
Chilled relations between South Korea and Japan had made joint air drills impossible in the past, so the U.S. practiced with each of the countries separately in maneuvers near the Korean Peninsula.
"The latest trilateral air drill had been planned to carry out the agreement in the defense area that was reached by the leaders of South Korea, the U.S. and Japan during their summit at Camp David in August and to strengthen security cooperation in response to North Korea's growing nuclear and missile threats," the Air Force said.