South Korea: North Korean drones violate airspace

North Korean drones are said to have entered South Korean airspace for the first time in more than five years.

North Korea had recently been massively criticized for repeated missile tests.

Drones from North Korea are said to have entered the airspace of neighboring South Korea. This was announced by the South Korean general staff. It would be the first incident of this kind since 2017, when South Korea accused the leadership in Pyongyang of using drones to spy on a US missile defense system stationed in South Korea.

According to the General Staff, the current incident involved the use of unmanned drones. The South Korean military fired warning shots. The General Staff left open whether drones were actually hit and shot down.

The South Korean news agency Yonhap later reported, citing the general staff, that the military had fired about a hundred shots. But no drone was shot down. One of them returned to North Korea. The other four have lost sight of the military. South Korea also used helicopters and fighter jets. According to the Ministry of Transport in the South Korean capital Seoul, the take-offs of the planes were suspended for about an hour at the airports Incheon and Gimpo.

According to the general staff, South Korean reconnaissance aircraft also flew north to take aerial photographs similar to the drones. The North Korean drones were small, about two meters long. Further details about the equipment of the aircraft were not given.

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The North Korean side has so far made no statement about the alleged crossing of the so-called military demarcation line.

North Korea has been under increasing international criticism for months. The reason is a large number of missile tests – the country last fired two ballistic missiles on Friday. UN resolutions ban North Korea, which has already conducted multiple nuclear tests, from testing ballistic missiles of any range. Despite this, North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un reiterated at the end of November that he wanted to make his country the largest nuclear power in the world.

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