South Korea scrambles 30 fighter jets after Kim Jong-un sends 12 warplanes close to border for bombing drills - hours after ballistic missile tests
- South Korea scrambled 30 fighter jets along with other war planes today
- It was in response to twelve North Korean fighter jets and four bombers
- The North Korean warplanes were flown close to the South Korean border
- This came after Kim Jong-un fired two more ballistic missiles towards Japan
- These missile tests were the sixth round conducted in the last two weeks
PUBLISHED: 04:31 AEDT, 7 October 2022 | UPDATED: 04:32 AEDT, 7 October 2022
Eight North Korean fighter jets and four bombers flew in chilling formation and are thought to have carried out air-to-surface firing exercises today, according to Seoul officials.
In response, South Korea launched 30 fighter jets along with other warplanes, in a move the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said was unseen over the past year.
South Korean media said the North Korean jets were likely just dozens of kilometres from the border.
This came hours after more ballistic missiles were fired towards Japan, in North Korea's sixth round of tests in the last fortnight.
South Korea scrambled 30 fighter jets after Kim Jong-un sent 12 warplanes close to the border in a bombing drill (Pictured: South Korean Air Force F-15Ks and U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jets fly over the Korean Peninsula in response to North Korea's intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) launch earlier this week)
Eight North Korean fighter jets and four bombers flew in formation and are thought to have carried out air-to-surface firing exercises today, according to Seoul officials (Pictured: South Korean F-15K fighter fired two JADAM precision bombs at a firing range on a Yellow Sea island on Tuesday)
Yonhap media said the jets flown by North Korea were in 'apparent protest' to recent bombing drills conducted between the US and South Korea.
Earlier, Kim Jong Un fired two more ballistic missiles towards Japan as tensions with the US continue to mount.
The missile launch, announced by South Korea's JCS, was the first since the reclusive regime fired an intermediate-range missile over its easterly neighbour on Tuesday.
That launch, the first of its kind in five years, sparked joint missile drills by South Korea and the United States and a return of aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan to the sea between Korea and Japan.
The latest missile launches suggest Kim Jong Un is determined to continue with weapons tests aimed at boosting his nuclear arsenal in defiance of international sanctions.
Earlier today, Kim Jong Un fired two more ballistic missiles towards Japan as tensions with the US continue to mount (Pictured: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un)
Many experts believe Kim's goal is to eventually win US recognition as a legitimate nuclear state and the lifting of said sanctions, though the international community to date has shown no sign of allowing that to happen.
Thursday's missiles were launched 22 minutes apart from the North's capital region and landed between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.
The first missile flew 350 kilometres (217 miles) and reached a maximum altitude of 80 kilometres (50 miles) and the second flew 800 kilometres (497 miles) on an apogee of 60 kilometres (37 miles).
The flight details were similar to Japanese assessments announced by DMinister of Defense of Japan Yasukazu Hamada, who confirmed that the missiles didn't reach Japan's exclusive economic zone.
Yonhap media said the jets flown by North Korea were in 'apparent protest' to recent bombing drills conducted between the US and South Korea (Pictured: South Korea Air Force F-15K Fighters and US Air Force F-16 Fighters take part in a combined bombing drill)
He added that the second missile was possibly launched on an 'irregular' trajectory.
It is a term that has been previously used to describe the flight characteristics of a North Korean weapon modelled after Russia's Iskander missile, which travels at low altitudes and is designed to be manoeuvrable in flight to improve its chances of evading missile defences.
South Korea's military said it has boosted its surveillance posture and maintains readiness in close coordination with the United States. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said North Korea's continued launches were 'absolutely intolerable.'