US, ROK hold joint air power demonstration against North Korea

US, ROK hold joint air power demonstration against North Korea

This handout picture taken on June 7, 2022 by the Republic of Korea's Defence Ministry in Seoul shows ROK warplanes, including F-35 stealth fighters and US F-16 jets flying in tactical formation over the ROK, in response to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's missile tests. HO AFP SEOUL -- The Republic of Korea and the United States staged a joint air power demonstration on Tuesday during a visit by US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, who said there would be a strong and clear response if the Democratic People's Republic of Korea were to conduct a nuclear test.

The demonstration, involving 20 warplanes including F-35 A stealth fighter jets, came a day after the allies fired eight surface-to-surface missiles off the ROK's east coast in response to a barrage of short-range ballistic missiles launched by the DPRK on Sunday.

A spokesman for the ROK military said in a statement that the allies are closely monitoring and prepared for any further provocation by the North that the United States and South Korea demonstrated their strong ability and determination to quickly and accurately strike any North Korean provocation. The DPRK is referred to as North Korea, while the ROK is South Korea.

The statement came hours after Sherman met with her ROK counterpart, Cho Hyun-dong, in Seoul to discuss the DPRK. The North has conducted a series of missile tests recently and some analysts believe it is about to resume testing nuclear weapons after a five year hiatus.

In a news conference after the meeting, Sherman said that any nuclear test would be a violation of UN Security Council resolutions and that there would be a swift and forceful response from both the United States and Japan.

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Sherman said that we are prepared and we will continue our trilateral discussions with the ROK and Japan tomorrow.

Authorities and DPRK experts have been saying for weeks that there are signs of new construction at Punggye-ri, the DPRK's only known nuclear test site.

The International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi said on Monday that DPRK is working on expanding key facilities at its main nuclear facility in Yongbyon.