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09:20 AM, December 3, 2018
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South Korea air combat drill (image: South Korea defense ministry/ AP)

South Korean Air Force commenced a five-day independent air combat drill on Monday.

The combat drill is aimed at beefing up the air combat readiness and honing the operational capability of pilots, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) of Korean defense forces.

Vigilant Ace is an annual US-South Korean drill held in the month of December. It was skipped this year in a bid to help diplomatic efforts to denuclearize North Korea move forward.

The decision was announced soon after South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis met this October at the Pentagon, Yonhap reported Monday.

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