Air Force stages air defense drills

South Korea's Air Force staged air defense drills Monday to reinforce its combat readiness, officials said, as tensions linger over North Korea's continued missile launches.

The defensive counter air drills took place across 12 units nationwide in connection with major ongoing South Korea-U.S. combined exercise drills, officials said.

The air defense drills mobilized some 20 aircraft, including F-35A, F-15K, KF-16 and FA-50 fighter jets, under scenarios of cruise missile launches and airspace violations by enemy aircraft, according to the Air Force.

The exercise focused on training the fighters to track down and intercept the planes, as well as troops from air defense and missile defense units to track the missiles and shoot down the aircraft using surface-to-air missile systems, including the mid-range Cheongung.

The latest drills took place as part of the annual Ulchi Freedom Shield (UFS) exercise, which kicked off its 11-day run earlier in the day.

The Air Force plans to stage various combined field exercises with the U.S. Air Force during the UFS, including combat search and rescue training and live-fire drills.

Source: Yonhap News Agency