UPDATE : 2018.9.20 THU 12:21
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S. Korea to fly some warplanes grounded after F-15K crash

South Korea's Air Force said Monday it is set to start flying warplanes grounded after an F-15K jet crash last week.

The Air Force suspended flights of most of its aircraft after the plane crashed into a mountain in Chilgok, North Gyeongsang Province, on Thursday. Two pilots were killed, although there was no civilian damage reported.

"(We) plan to resume flight missions from tomorrow, except for the F-15K fleet," Lt. Col. Cho Se-yong, a spokesman for the Air Force, told reporters. Safety checks and measures were taken over the weekend, he added.

He confirmed that the Air Force has canceled the Soaring Eagle air combat training, scheduled to begin last Friday, due to the crash.

But there will likely be no big setback to the plan to conduct the two-week Max Thunder combined air drill with the United States, kicking off on May 11, said Cho.

This year, the annual Max Thunder training was not included in the allies' Foal Eagle drills, the duration of which has been shortened to a month ahead of rare inter-Korean summit talks and a meeting between the North's leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump.

In 2017, the allies staged the air exercise as part of Foal Eagle.

Kim Sua  edt@koreapost.com

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