North Korea fires more missiles as U.S. flies bombers over South
South Korea scrambled 80 aircraft, including, F-35A stealth fighters after detecting about 180 North Korean military flights north of the two countries’ border
Handout | Getty Images News | Getty Images
North Korea added to its recent barrage of weapons demonstrations by launching four ballistic missiles into the sea on Saturday, as the United States sent two supersonic bombers streaking over South Korea in a dueling display of military might that underscored rising tensions in the region.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said that the four short-range missiles fired from a North Korean western coastal area around noon flew about 130 kilometers (80 miles) toward the country’s western sea.
The North has test-fired more than 30 missiles this week, including an intercontinental ballistic missile on Thursday that triggered evacuation alerts in northern Japan, and flew large numbers of warplanes inside its territory in an angry reaction to a massive combined aerial exercise between the United States and South Korea.
The South Korean military said two B-1B bombers trained with four U.S. F-16 fighter jets and four South Korean F-35 jets during the last day of the “Vigilant Storm” joint air force drills that wraps up Saturday. It marked the first time since December 2017 that the bombers were deployed to the Korean Peninsula. The exercise involved around 240 warplanes, including advanced F-35 fighter jets from both countries.
North Korea’s Foreign Ministry late Friday described the country’s military actions this week as an appropriate response to the exercise, which it called a display of U.S. “military confrontation hysteria.” It said North Korea will respond with the “toughest counteraction” to any attempts by “hostile forces” to infringe on its sovereignty or security interests.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the participation of the B-1Bs in the joint drills demonstrated the allies’ readiness to “sternly respond” to North Korean provocations and the U.S. commitment to defend its ally with the full range of its military capabilities, including nuclear.
B-1B flyovers had been a familiar show of force during past periods of tensions with North Korea, including the North’s provocative run in nuclear and long-range missile tests in 2017. But the flyovers had been halted in recent years as the United States and South Korea stopped their large-scale exercises to support the former Trump administration’s diplomatic efforts with North Korea and because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The allies resumed their large-scale training this year after North Korea dialed up its weapons testing to a record pace, exploiting a divide in the U.N. Security Council over Russia’s war on Ukraine as a window to accelerate arms development.
North Korea hates such displays of American military might at close range. The North has continued to describe the B-1B as a “nuclear strategic bomber” although the plane was switched to conventional weaponry in the mid-1990s.
Vigilant Storm had been initially scheduled to end Friday, but the allies decided to extend the training to Saturday in response to a series of North Korean ballistic launches on Thursday, including an ICBM that triggered evacuation alerts and halted trains in northern Japan.
Thursday’s launches came after the North fired more than 20 missiles on Wednesday, the most in a single day. Those launches came after North Korean senior military official Pak Jong Chon issued a veiled threat of a nuclear conflict with the United States and South Korea over their joint drills, which the North says are rehearsals for a potential invasion.
South Korea also on Friday scrambled about 80 military aircraft after tracking about 180 flights by North Korean warplanes inside North Korean territory. The South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the North Korean warplanes were detected in various areas inland and along the country’s eastern and western coasts, but did not come particularly close to the Koreas’ border. The South Korean military spotted about 180 flight trails from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., but it wasn’t immediately clear how many North Korean planes were involved and whether some may have flown more than once.
In Friday’s statement attributed to an unidentified spokesperson, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said the United States and South Korea had created a seriously “unstable atmosphere” in the region with their military exercises. It accused the United States of mobilizing its allies in a campaign using sanctions and military threats to pressure North Korea to unilaterally disarm.
“The sustained provocation is bound to be followed by sustained counteraction,” the statement said.
North Korea has launched dozens of ballistic missiles this year, including multiple ICBMs and an intermediate-range missile flown over Japan. South Korean officials say there are indications North Korea in coming weeks could detonate its first nuclear test device since 2017. Experts say North Korea is attempting to force the United States to accept it as a nuclear power and seeks to negotiate economic and security concessions from a position of strength.
Your Speech May Reveal Early Signs of Alzheimer’s
Nashville police release bodycam footage from Christian school shooting
Man drowns trying to save 2 kids caught in current off Anclote Key
A front-runner emerges in the European small launcher race
Virgin Orbit Extends Workers’ Furlough After Reportedly Failing to Secure Rescue Deal
Remittances’ Shift To Digital: Driving Change In An Industry Split Between Yesterday And Tomorrow
Used Car Prices Down 8.7 Percent From Last Year, According To Study
What a Lifting Belt Can—and Can’t—Do for Your Workout
Volkswagen Assets Frozen In Russia Over Contract Dispute
Mediterranean Tofu Scramble Recipe | SELF
Your Speech May Reveal Early Signs of Alzheimer’s
When Does ‘How I Met Your Father’ Season 2 Return With New Episodes?
United Kingdom: 50 Years Of VAT Fun
Lexington man identified as pedestrian killed by bus at Logan
Amazon Sidewalk Is the Sleeping Giant in Your Neighborhood
News24 hours ago
Plastics Are Devastating the Guts of Seabirds
News16 hours ago
Stock futures are flat on Monday evening: Live updates
Finance23 hours ago
Who Does Regulating ESG Help?
Tech24 hours ago
We drive the most hardcore Toyota Corolla ever: The GR Morizo Edition
Tech23 hours ago
Photos & Videos Show Devastated Communities in Mississippi After Deadly Weekend Tornado
Travel23 hours ago
American Airlines Donates $1.1 Million to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Lifestyle15 hours ago
Katie Austin Shares Her Fitness Must-Haves
Tech17 hours ago
Immaculate AI images of Pope Francis trick the masses