On Monday, the South Korean military sent out fighter aircraft and assault helicopters after five North Korean drones entered South Korean airspace, according to the nation’s defence ministry.
Though it noted that it couldn’t confirm whether any drones were downed, the ministry said that South Korea’s military had fired shots at the flying objects.
According to Lee Seung-oh, a South Korean defence official, four of the drones circled Ganghwa island, and one went above the northern airspace of Seoul.
During a briefing, Lee declared, “This is an obvious provocation and an invasion of our airspace by North Korea.”
According to Lee, the South Korean military dispatched its human and unmanned surveillance assets to the inter-Korean border in reaction to the airspace violation, with some of them entering North Korean territory.
Lee stated that the equipment carried out a reconnaissance operation, which involved recording North Korea’s military facilities.
At approximately 10:25 a.m. local time on Monday, the South Korean military saw the drones flying over a region near the city of Gimpo in the country’s northwest, according to the defence ministry of that nation.
According to the South Korean defence ministry, the last time a North Korean drone was found below the inter-Korean boundary was in 2017. At the time, South Korea claimed to have found a crashed North Korean surveillance drone that had been monitoring a US-made missile system there.
This year, North Korea has aggressively increased the number of missile tests it has conducted, often firing several at once. It has launched missiles on 36 different days, which is the most yearly launch since Kim Jong Un assumed office in 2012.
Most recently, two short-range ballistic missiles were launched by North Korea on Friday, according to South Korean officials. The missiles were launched into the seas between the Korean Peninsula and Japan from the Sunan region of Pyongyang.
This is how the covert nation often tests its missiles, shooting them at an angle that causes them to land in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.
But in October, it launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) at a regular trajectory that, for the first time in five years, passed over Japan.
A “new type” of ICBM, the Hwasong-17, with the potential to reach the continental United States, was purported to have been launched from Pyongyang International Airfield in November, according to the assertion.
Additionally, Kim Yo Jong, a senior official in the government and the sister of Kim Jong Un, stated in state media last week that North Korea was prepared to test-fire an ICBM at a normal trajectory, a flight pattern that might demonstrate the weapons’ ability to target the continental United States.
Experts from the US and South Korea have cautioned that Pyongyang may be getting ready for its first nuclear test in more than five years.
In defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions, North Korea has been stepping up its nuclear missile development efforts ever after the third and last meeting between Kim Jong Un and then-US President Donald Trump in 2019 ended without an accord.