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08:53 AM, November 25, 2017
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USAF F-22 Raptors arrive at Osan, South Korea air base in Feb 2017 (Image: Osan Air Base)

In a clear attempt to intimidate North Korea, Washington and Seoul will hold one of its biggest ever air exercises involving 230 warplanes including F-22 Raptors and F-35s besides personnel from the US Marines and Korean forces.

The US is planning to send six F-22 Raptor stealth fighters, three to four F-35A for the drill, South Korean military officials were quoted as saying by Yonhap Friday.

The allies will hold the annual airborne exercise named Vigilant Ace from Dec. 4-8, mobilizing 12,000 US personnel, according to the Seventh Air Force in Korea.

"This realistic air combat exercise is designed to enhance interoperability between US and Republic of Korea forces and increase the combat effectiveness of both nations," it said in a statement, referring to South Korea by its formal name.

US Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy personnel will train with air assets from South Korea with 230 aircraft at eight US and South Korean military installations, it added.

China's foreign ministry called for restraint, repeating its stance that North Korea's nuclear issue should be resolved through dialogue.

"We believe that all relevant countries need to show restraint and not to conduct activity that can intensify tensions on the Korean Peninsula," Geng Shuang, spokesman at China's foreign ministry, said in a briefing.

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