South Korea fire warning shots at Russian fighter jet
North Korea’s Kim signals possible ballistic missile development
South Korean fighter jets fired nearly 400 warning shots at a Russian military aircraft on Tuesday after it violated the country’s airspace, with Seoul warning of a far stronger reaction if a breach reoccurs.
The Russian A-50 early warning and control aircraft breached South Korean airspace twice off its east coast, the defense ministry official said, forcing the air force to scramble fighters.
Moscow denied any of its military aircraft had violated South Korean airspace, saying its planes had carried out planned drills over international waters. But Seoul said a warplane entered South Korean airspace near the disputed Dokdo islets which are also claimed by Japan the first such violation since Korean War hostilities ended in 1953.
National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong warned of serious consequences if such a violation happened again in a message to the secretary of the Security Council of Russia, South Korea’s presidential Blue House spokeswoman said. We are assessing this incident in a very grave manner and will take a much tougher measure if it happens again, Chung said, according to the Blue House spokeswoman.
On the other hand, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspected a large newly built submarine, state news agency KCNA reported on Tuesday, potentially signaling continued development of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) program. Kim inspected the operational and tactical data and combat weapon systems of the submarine that was built under his special attention, and will be operational in the waters off the east coast, KCNA said. KCNA said the submarine’s operational deployment was near.
The operational capacity of a submarine is an important component in national defense of our country bounded on its east and west by sea, Kim said. KCNA did not describe the submarine’s weapon systems or say where and when the inspection took place. North Korea has a large submarine fleet but only one known experimental submarine capable of carrying a ballistic missile.