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Border Tensions Escalate as North Korea Sends Drones into South Korean Airspace

South Korea scrambles jets in response to North Korean drone incursion

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Aditya Saikrishna
Aditya Saikrishna
I am 21 years old and an avid Motorsports enthusiast.

SOUTH KOREA: According to the South Korean military, five North Korean drones entered South Korea on Monday. South Korea attempted to shoot down the North Korean aircraft by scrambling jets and attack helicopters. 

South Korean military fired about one hundred shots

According to the military official, the South Korean military also sent surveillance aircraft into the North to photograph its military installations as part of its response.

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Lee Seung-o, an official with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated at a briefing that “this is a clear act of provocation” by North Korea, which, in his words, was “violating” South Korean airspace.

One of the five drones from North Korea flew close to Seoul, the capital of South Korea, while the others flew close to the west coast. The drones were “operated assets to shoot down,” according to Lee.

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He didn’t say if the jets had shot down any drones, but according to the media, the South Korean military fired about one hundred shots but didn’t destroy any of them. Lee said that when it first saw the drones, South Korea fired “warning shots.”

According to media reports, which cited the Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea, one of the drones returned to North Korea, while the other four managed to escape from the range of the South Korean jets.

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North Korea’s state media did not mention drones and had no channel for South Korean media inquiries.

Lee stated that South Korean reconnaissance aircraft entered the North to take pictures of the North Korean drone flights in action, implying that the North Korean drones intended to be for surveillance.

The military reported earlier that South Korea detected the five drones in the skies of the western city of Gimpo around 10:25 a.m. (0125 GMT) and tracked them as they crossed the Military Demarcation Line between the two Korean countries.

On Monday, Lee stated that the North Korean drones were small—about two meters—but he did not provide any additional information regarding their equipment if any.

North Korea has had poor relations with South Korea, a U.S. ally, for decades. Still, tensions have recently increased as a new, conservative South Korean government took office and North Korea continues its nuclear and missile programs.

In response to a record number of North Korean missile tests this year, South Korean and American forces have intensified military exercises. North Korea sees exercises of this kind as preparations for an invasion.

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