https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11312789/South-Korea-scrambles-fighter-jets-Kim-Jong-Uns-warplanes-fly-border.html

South Korea scrambles fighter jets as Kim Jong Un’s warplanes fly to border

  • The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said warplanes flew to the border tonight 
  • North Korean jets were seen within 12km of the boundary between the nations
  • South Korean fighter jets were scrambled in response to the unusual incident
  • It comes amid raised tensions on the peninsula after missile tests in the North 

South Korea has scrambled fighter jets after Kim Jong Un‘s warplanes flew towards the border.

Around 10 North Korean military aircraft were seen flying near the de-facto border, according the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the South.

A JCS statement said the incident happened late on Thursday and early Friday Korean time amid heightened tensions over repeated missile tests in recent weeks by the North.

The security chiefs say the planes flew as close as 12km (seven miles) north of the inter-Korean border in what is a highly unusual incident.

In response F-35 jets and other warplanes were scrambled by the South, while there were no reports of clashes in the air.

It is the second time in a week that the South has scrambled jets, after Kim sent 12 warplanes close to the border for bombing drills on October 6. 

It comes a day after the authoritarian country launched two long-range cruise missiles over the Yellow Sea, with Kim saying his nation is ‘at full preparedness for actual war’.

South Korea has scrambled fighter jets after North Korean warplanes were seen flying towards the border

There have been increased tensions between the two countries in recent weeks after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (pictured) ordered missile tests

There have been increased tensions between the two countries in recent weeks after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (pictured) ordered missile tests

The North Korean warplanes were seen within 12km of the border between the two nations (pictured)

The North Korean warplanes were seen within 12km of the border between the two nations (pictured)

It is the second time in a week that the South has scrambled jets, after Kim sent 12 warplanes close to the border for bombing drills on October 6.

A total of 30 fighter jets were scrambled by South Korea after eight North Korean fighter jets and four bombers flew in chilling formation towards the boundary between the two countries.

They are thought to have crried out air-to-surface firing exercises, with Yonhap media saying they were flown in ‘apparent protest’ to recent bombing drills between the US and South Korea.

After the latest foray North Korea’s official KCNA news agency quoted the North Korean military as saying it took ‘strong military countermeasures’ after South Korean artillery fire.

Meanwhile, the JCS said the South Korean air force ‘conducted an emergency sortie with its superior air force, including the F-35A, and maintained a response posture, while carrying out a proportional response maneuver corresponding to the flight of a North Korean military aircraft’. 

It comes a day after the North tested yet more missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads in the Yellow Sea.

The missiles flew 1,240 miles before moving in oval and figure eight patterns for almost three hours in a display of their apparent manoeuvrability before hitting targets, the Korean Central News Agency said.

Kim personally oversaw the tests as images showed him applauding inside a tunnel with his cronies, a cigarette in his right hand. 

He ‘highly appreciated’ the test, state media said afterwards, which showed North Korea’s nuclear forces are at ‘full preparedness for actual war’ and sent a ‘clear warning to the enemies.’ 

Kim appears to be capitalising on the Ukraine war – which has tied up the UN and its sanctioning body – to carry out tests of weapons that would typically have drawn retaliatory measures.

Though North Korea is not technically forbidden from testing cruise missiles, it has also tested a flurry of ballistic rockets in recent weeks which are forbidden.

Kim is also thought to be gearing up for a banned nuclear test at its underground testing site, which would be its first in five years.

Missile test

KIm at school anniversary

North Korea on Wednesday tested two long-range cruise missiles (left) which Kim Jong Un (right) said demonstrated that his nuclear forces are at ‘full preparedness for actual war’

Kim is pictured overseeing the cruise missile test alongside his top officials, applauding with what appears to be a cigarette in his right hand as the weapons hit their targets

Kim is pictured overseeing the cruise missile test alongside his top officials, applauding with what appears to be a cigarette in his right hand as the weapons hit their targets

Kim said North Korea will ‘focus all efforts on the endless and accelerating development of the national nuclear combat armed forces,’ KCNA reported Thursday.

Kim made acquiring tactical nukes – smaller, shorter-range weapons designed for battlefield use – a top priority at a key party congress in January 2021.

‘The latest test means the North is operating tactical nuclear capability on cruise missiles, which are harder to detect for their low-altitude flight,’ Hong Min of the Korea Institute for National Unification told AFP.

‘It is a testament to Pyongyang’s capability to mount nuclear warheads,’ he said, adding that cruise missiles can also have irregular flight paths making them harder to intercept.

Many experts believe Kim’s goal is to eventually win US recognition as a legitimate nuclear state and the lifting of said sanctions, though the international community to date has shown no sign of allowing that to happen. 

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