North Korea on Monday alleged that the country’s warplanes shot down a US spy plane flying over its exclusive economic zone and warned of “shocking” consequences if the US continued reconnaissance in the region.
The US and South Korean militaries did not immediately react to comments by Kim Yo Jong, one of her brother’s top foreign policy officials, that were published in state media on Monday evening. Earlier on Monday, North Korea’s defence ministry issued a statement accusing the US of flying spy planes over its “impregnable airspace” and warned that incoming planes could be shot down.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff responded by denying that the US had flown spy planes over North Korean territory. Spokesman Lee Sung Joon told a briefing that the US was conducting standard reconnaissance activities in coordination with South Korea’s military. Apparently, in response to that comment, Kim accused the Joint Chiefs of Staff of acting like a “spokesman” for the US military and said the US was intensifying its reconnaissance activities in serious violation of North Korea’s sovereignty and security. Used to be.
But while statements from the North Korean defence ministry indicated intrusions into the country’s territorial airspace, Kim has accused the US of imposing restrictions on the North’s exclusive economic zone, an area within 200 nautical miles of its territory where it controls rights to natural resources. But accused of sending a spy plane. Kim said a US spy plane crossed the eastern sea border between the Koreas at around 5 a.m. Monday and carried out reconnaissance activities in the North’s exclusive economic zone before being chased by North Korean warplanes. He said American aircraft crossed the Eastern Seaboard again at around 8:50 a.m., prompting the North Korean military to issue an unspecified “stern warning” to the United States.
He said North Korea would take decisive action if the US continued to fly reconnaissance aircraft over its country’s exclusive economic zone, but added that it would “not retaliate directly” for US reconnaissance activities outside the region. “In the 20-40 kilometer stretch of North Korea, a shocking phenomenon will happen in the long run, in which US spy planes habitually intrude in the sky above the economic waters,” he said.
Kim’s comments come at a time of rising tensions on the Korean peninsula as North Korean weapons tests and joint US-South Korean military exercises intensify. North Korea has tested nearly 100 missiles since early 2022 as Kim Jong Un expands the nuclear arsenal he sees as the strongest guarantee of his survival.