South Korea. 180 North Korean planes near the border, Seoul sends fighters
After the detection of over 180 North Korean combat aircraft, South Korean authorities decided to pick up several dozen fighters, the Japanese news agency Yonhap reported on Friday. Pyongyang also continued to fire artillery shells at night towards the buffer zone on the sea border between North and South Korea.
The movement of North Korean aircraft was detected several dozen kilometers from the border between the two countries. They were recorded between 11.00 and 15.00 local time (3-7 in Poland) over the inland area of North Korea and by the seaside on the west and east coast of that country, the South Korean Army Chiefs of Staffs College reported. In response, about 80 fighters were picked up.
North Korea since Wednesday it has conducted ballistic missile tests on an unprecedented scale. On that day alone, it launched 23 rockets, one of which – for the first time since the end of the Korean War in 1953 – fell less than 60 kilometers off the coast of South Korea.
Expert: The regime’s goal is escalation
An expert on Korean affairs at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, Professor Remco Breuker said on Thursday that the intensification of North Korea’s actions was due, on the one hand, to Pyongyang’s dissatisfaction with South Korea’s joint maneuvers and USAand on the other, the recent tragedy in Seoul, where more than 150 people died as a result of the Halloween panic, and which dominated the coverage of South Korean media.
According to Breuker, Pyongyang’s goal is “to escalate to the point where the international community fear real war.” To achieve this, Pyongyang provocations would have to become a major topic for South Koreans and politicians. – At the moment it is not so, hence so many bullets – said the expert.
Maneuvers of South Korean and US troops
Pyongyang continued its tests on Thursday, including a rocket that Seoul authorities rated as an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). According to Yonhapu sources, however, this test probably failed, and the rocket disappeared from radar in the Sea of Japan.
North Korea is protesting against military cooperation between South Korea and the US and the ongoing, largest-ever joint air force maneuver between the two countries. The Vigilant Storm exercise, involving hundreds of aircraft, has been extended until Saturday in response to Pyongyang’s missile tests.
USA and South Korea Together they warned North Korea on Thursday that the use of any nuclear weapons against Seoul or other US regional allies would mean “the end of the Kim Jong Un regime.”
Main photo source: SrA Trevor Gordnier / US Air Force
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