North Korea sends fighter jets near border with South Korea

SEOUL — South Korea scrambled fighter jets on Thursday after North Korean warplanes flew close to the border between the two countries. The move was widely seen as provocative even by Pyongyang’s standards, as North Korea fired another ballistic missile on Friday morning, the latest of several recent weapons tests by the Kim Jong Un regime.

According to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), the North Korean plane was flying seven miles north of the two countries’ de facto maritime border. Pyongyang’s warplanes were also spotted more than a dozen miles north of the land border.

About 10 warplanes from Pyongyang were involved in the incident, which took place between Thursday night and early Friday. North Korea also dispatched warplanes near South Korea last week, but the most recent flight – considered highly unusual – flew closer to Seoul’s airspace. South Korea’s military said it “scrambled” fighter jets with advanced air forces, including F-35As, but there were no reports of clashes.

Seoul also said that Pyongyang fired artillery shells into the maritime buffer zone established in 2018 as part of inter-Korean peace efforts.

“This [North] The North Korean People’s Army issued a stern warning to the South Korean military for reckless actions to inflame military tensions in the frontline area. mechanism.

North Korea says it tested nuclear missile aimed at South Korea

The official said the “countermeasure” was in response to South Korean artillery fire that had lasted about 10 hours earlier. South Korea’s Defense Ministry said it had conducted artillery drills at a site south of the border with North Korea, but the drills did not violate a 2018 military agreement.

“To mark the 10th anniversary of his reign, Kim Jong-un needs to be a heroic leader – he only has nuclear weapons to show off his achievements,” said Uk Yang, a military strategist at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul.

He said North Korea’s recent military exercises and tests, while threatening, also exposed the limits of Pyongyang’s military. He added that the jets were “outdated”, suggesting the provocations were “signs of desperation”.

North Korea said it viewed recent military exercises by the United States, South Korea and Japan as a threat. Allies say the training exercises are defensive in nature. South Korea’s presidential palace held an emergency meeting of its National Security Council on Friday and pledged to work with allies to prepare for further provocations by North Korea.

Nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington remain stalled and tensions continue to rise. North Korea has carried out more than 40 missile launches this year, and this week Kim Jong-un oversaw a cruise missile test and pledged to strengthen the regime’s nuclear weapons program to fend off enemies. The North Korean leader said his nuclear forces were fully prepared for “real war,” according to state media.

On Friday, South Korea also imposed its first unilateral sanctions on North Korea in about five years. According to South Korea’s foreign ministry, the measures targeted 15 North Korean individuals and 16 organizations involved in nuclear and missile development.

A short-range ballistic missile fired by North Korea on Friday was fired into the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan at about 1:49 a.m., according to the South Korean military. The missile flew about 435 miles and reached an altitude of about 31 miles, JCS said.

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