Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor

A Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor fighter takes flight at a Joint Services Open House airshow at Andrews Air Force Base. (Photo: Rob Shenk/Flickr/cc)

US and South Korea Announce Plans for Massive Air Force Exercise Aimed at North Korea

The early December drill comes as tensions continue to rise over North Korea's nuclear program and Trump's persistent antagonization of the nation's leader

Common Dreams staff

The U.S. and South Korea announced Friday they will conduct a massive air force exercise over the Korean Peninsula next month as a notable show of force targeting North Korea—despite warnings that the Trump administration's decision earlier this week to add North Korea to the United States' list of state sponsors of terrorism could further provoke the isolated country.

Six F-22 Raptor stealth fighters—which are among the world's most advanced warplanes—will be sent to South Korea for the drill, a U.S. Air Force spokesman told AFP, which reports:

The massive five-day annual exercise comes as Washington pushes what President Donald Trump has called a "maximum pressure campaign" against Pyongyang over its nuclear program.

The exercise, named Vigilant Ace, starts on December 4 with 12,000 U.S. personnel and an unspecified number of South Korean airmen flying more than 230 aircraft at eight U.S. and South Korean military bases.

Reuters reports that U.S. Marine Corps and Navy troops will also participate in the exercise.

Although the drill is conducted annually, it comes as U.S. President Donald Trump continues to antagonize North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on the world stage. 

As Common Dreams reported this week, after Trump designated North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism on Monday, the North Korean Central News Agency called the decision a "serious provocation," and warned that "our army and people are full of rage and anger toward the heinous gangsters" who made the decision. 

Concerns about the escalating conflict, and the Trump administration's vocal opposition to engaging in diplomatic discussions with North Korea, continue to rise in the U.S. as well as among North Korea's neighbors, particularly South Korea. When Trump visited Asia earlier this month, South Koreans greeted him with massive protests—denouncing him as a "war-threatening, weapons salesman"—while Pyongyang claimed the president "begged for war" during his trip.  


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Black Mississippi State Senators Stage Walkout as Critical Race Theory Ban Passed

"We cannot continue to stumble into the future backwards," said one Black senator who taught for 33 years. "That's what this bill does."

Brett Wilkins ·


Buddhist Monk and Peace Activist Thích Nhất Hạnh Dead at 95

"He inspired so many good people to dedicate themselves to working for a more just and compassionate world."

Jessica Corbett ·


Draft Order Shows Trump Considered Using Military to Seize Voting Machines

"This was part of the records that Trump was fighting to keep from the January 6th committee," one government watchdog noted.

Brett Wilkins ·


Groups Warn US Lawmakers Against Fueling 'New Cold War' With China

A policy of hostility toward Beijing, says a global justice advocate, has "become a convenient excuse for pushing a corporate, militarist agenda."

Jessica Corbett ·


Democracy 'On the Line' Says Bowman After Protest Arrest

"I will not stand by and I will not stay quiet while the fate of our democracy continues to hang loosely by a thread that the Senate is hellbent on tearing apart."

Julia Conley ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo