Seoul, South Korea
South Korea has mixed up about 80 fighter jets after detecting a large number of North Korean warplanes over a four-hour period on Friday, the country’s military said, in a further escalation of regional tensions.
In a statement, the South Korean military said it saw about 180 North Korean military aircraft between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. local time, a day after Pyongyang allegedly conducted the failed test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
Tensions in the Korean peninsula began to mount on Monday when the joint “Vigilant Storm” military exercises between the United States and South Korea began, involving hundreds of planes and thousands of military personnel from both countries, according to the US.
North Korea accused its allies of provocative actions and on Wednesday launched 23 missiles from its east and west coasts — the most it has fired in a single day — into the waters on either side of the peninsula, prompting Seoul to respond with three missiles. .
Friday’s South Korean deployment included an unspecified number of F-35A stealth fighter jets, the statement said, and the South Korean warplanes participating in the ongoing joint maneuvers had also “maintained a preparedness stance,” the South Korean said. army.
After Thursday’s suspected ICBM test, the US and South Korea announced they would extend the exercises for an extra day until November 5, a move that state media described as a “very dangerous move” by a North Korean official. and false choice”.
Later, after meeting with his South Korean counterpart at the Pentagon, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin accused North Korea of ”irresponsible and reckless activities”.
“We’ve said before that this kind of activity could potentially destabilize the region. So we’re calling on them to stop that kind of activity and start a serious dialogue,” Austin said.
At a meeting of the UN Security Council on Friday, which had convened numerous countries to discuss Pyongyang’s missile launches, the US ambassador to the UN accused the council of inaction.
“It is appalling that a UN member state should so blatantly violate Security Council resolutions and everything the UN Charter stands for,” said Linda Thomas-Greenfield. “Equally appalling is the deafening silence of the Council on this matter.”
She issued a joint statement on behalf of 12 member states, including South Korea, the US and the UK, condemning the launches as a regional and international threat.
In an interview on DailyExpertNews on Wednesday, Thomas-Greenfield said the UN would put “pressure” on China and Russia to improve and tighten sanctions against North Korea. She declined to say whether US President Joe Biden would lift sanctions against Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20, but said the president had this in mind.