North Korea Issues Warning: US Spy Planes Face Shoot-Down Risk
North Korea Condemns US Air Espionage and Nuclear Blackmail
North Korea has issued a stern warning, threatening to shoot down any US spy planes that violate its airspace, and strongly condemning the United States’ plans to deploy a nuclear missile submarine near the Korean peninsula. The North’s Ministry of National Defense spokesperson expressed concerns over the intensified espionage activities conducted by the United States, referring to recent provocative flights made by US spy aircraft. The spokesperson highlighted that over the course of eight consecutive days this month, US spy planes had been intruding into North Korea’s airspace over the East Sea multiple times.
In a statement conveyed by the official Korean Central News Agency, the spokesperson stated, “There is no guarantee that such a shocking accident as the downing of a US Air Force strategic reconnaissance plane will not happen in the East Sea of Korea.” The spokesperson also referenced past incidents when Pyongyang shot down US aircraft and warned that the United States would face consequences for its “frantically staged” air espionage.
Later on Monday, Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, reported that a US spy aircraft had violated the country’s eastern airspace twice that morning. She clarified that the North would not directly respond to US reconnaissance activities outside of its exclusive economic zone but emphasized that decisive action would be taken if the US military crosses its maritime military demarcation line.
The Korean Central News Agency statement also criticized the planned deployment of US strategic nuclear assets to the Korean peninsula as “the most undisguised nuclear blackmail” against North Korea. It highlighted that this move posed a grave threat to regional and global security. The statement further asserted that the situation on the Korean peninsula was rapidly approaching a threshold of nuclear conflict due to the provocative military actions by the United States.
In April, Washington announced its intention to send a nuclear-armed ballistic submarine to make the first visit to a South Korean port in decades, although the exact timing was not specified. North Korea has already conducted numerous launches this year, in violation of sanctions, including test-firing its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missiles. Additionally, in May, North Korea attempted to put a military spy satellite into orbit.
In response to North Korea’s actions, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has strengthened defense cooperation with the United States. Joint military exercises involving advanced stealth jets and powerful US strategic assets have been conducted. President Yoon is scheduled to attend a NATO summit in Lithuania this week to seek stronger cooperation with NATO members in addressing North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile threats, as announced by his office.
The escalating tensions between North Korea and the United States continue to pose a significant challenge to regional stability, requiring delicate diplomacy and careful maneuvering to prevent a further deterioration of the situation.