On Monday, North Korea issued a warning, stating that it would take necessary measures to shoot down any US spy planes that trespass into its airspace, and criticized the US decision to deploy a nuclear missile submarine near the Korean peninsula.
According to the spokesperson for the North’s Ministry of National Defence, the United States has ‘intensified espionage activities beyond the wartime level’, with
‘provocative’ flights made by US spy aircraft over eight straight days this month, and one surveillance plane encroaching into its airspace over the East Sea ‘several times’.
‘There is no guarantee that such shocking accident as downing of the US Air Force strategic reconnaissance plane will not happen in the East Sea of Korea,’ the spokesperson told the official Korean Central News Agency.
The spokesperson, as quoted by the official Korean Central News Agency, remarked in a statement that there is no certainty that a shocking event like the downing of a US Air Force strategic reconnaissance plane will not take place in the East Sea of Korea.
Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, claimed in a statement that a US spy aircraft had entered North Korea’s eastern airspace on two occasions on Monday morning.
Kim Yo Jong’s statement outlined North Korea’s approach of refraining from direct retaliation to US reconnaissance activities beyond its exclusive economic zone. However, a firm warning was conveyed, stating that any breach of North Korea’s maritime military demarcation line by the US military would be met with decisive action.
In the prior statement from KCNA, the planned deployment of US strategic nuclear assets to the Korean peninsula was fiercely denounced as ‘the most explicit nuclear blackmail’ against North Korea. The statement underscored the grave danger that this deployment posed to regional and global security.
‘The present situation clearly proves that the situation of the Korean peninsula is coming closer to the threshold of nuclear conflict due to the US provocative military action,’ the statement partly reads.
As of April, the US made public its plan to send a nuclear-armed ballistic submarine for a momentous visit to a South Korean port, which would be the first visit of this nature in several decades. Nonetheless, the exact timing of the visit was not disclosed.
Flouting sanctions, North Korea has performed numerous launches this year, notably testing its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missiles. In May, the country also made an unsuccessful attempt to deploy a military spy satellite into orbit.
Responding to the circumstances, President Yoon Suk Yeol of South Korea has elevated defense cooperation with Washington, organizing joint military exercises that utilize advanced stealth jets and substantial US strategic assets.
Yoon Suk Yeol is scheduled to participate in a NATO summit in Lithuania this week, with the aim of fostering enhanced cooperation with NATO members regarding North Korea’s escalating nuclear and missile threats, as stated by his office.