U.S., South Korea militaries carry out air exercises

SEOUL (Reuters) - The United States and South Korea carried out combined military air exercises involving B-1B bombers as well as F-22 and F-35 fighter aircraft, the South Korean defence ministry said on Thursday.

The ministry said in a statement that the drills aimed to promote interoperability between the militaries and were an effective demonstration of alliance capabilities in the face of North Korean threats.

The disclosure of the new exercises came just two days after U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Seoul.

During talks this week, the defence chiefs of the United States and South Korea said they would expand military drills and boost nuclear deterrence planning to counter North Korea's weapons development and prevent a war.

(Reporting by Josh Smith; writing by Phil Stewart; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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