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US and South Korea seek to cow the North with massive air drills

Eyes on Pyongyang's response to military side of 'maximum pressure'

HIROSHI MINEGISHI and TSUYOSHI NAGASAWA, Nikkei staff writers | North Korea

SEOUL/WASHINGTON -- The U.S. and South Korea aim to turn the heat up as high as possible on North Korea with major joint air force exercises begun Monday, drawing attention to how the North reacts.

Some 230 American and South Korean aircraft, including 24 stealth fighters, are set to take part in the annual Vigilant Ace war games running through Friday -- a major show of force complementing economic sanctions and diplomatic efforts to isolate Pyongyang.

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