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Fighters Scramble on Inter-Korean Border as Pyongyang Tests Another Ballistic Missile

Published: October 13, 2022
A KC-135 Stratotanker from the 909 Air Fueling Squadron of the 18th Wing of the US Air force, based in Japan's Kadena, conducts aerial refueling for a F-16 Fighting Falcon from the US Seventh Air Force's 8th Fighter Wing, based in South Korea's Gunsan, during joint military drills between South Korea and the US over the East Sea, east of Seoul on July 26, 2010. (Image: LEE JAE-WON/AFP via Getty Images)

SEOUL — North Korea fired an unidentified ballistic missile into the sea off its east coast, South Korea’s military said on Friday, the latest in a series of launches by the nuclear armed country.

A statement from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) gave no further details.

The latest launch was announced shortly after the military said South Korea scrambled fighter jets when a group of about 10 North Korean military aircraft flew close to the border dividing the two countries, amid heightened tensions over repeated North Korean missile tests.

North Korea fired a ballistic missile off its east coast on Tuesday, October 4, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said. Pyongyang has conducted repeated missile tests in recent weeks. (Image: Screenshot via Reuters)

A subsequent statement on North Korea’s official KCNA news agency quoted the North Korean military as saying it took “strong military countermeasures” after South Korean artillery fire.

The South Korean JCS statement said the aircraft incident happened late on Thursday and early Friday Korean time.

The statement said the North Korean aircraft were detected flying about 25 km (15 miles) north of the Military Demarcation Line in the central region of the Korea border area and about 12 km (7 miles) north of the Northern Limit Line, a de facto inter-Korean border in the Yellow Sea, between 10:30 p.m. Thursday (1330 GMT) and 0:20 a.m. (1530 GMT) local time Friday.

It said the aircraft were also seen near the eastern part of the inter-Korean border.

The JCS said the South Korean air force “conducted an emergency sortie with its superior air force, including the F-35A, and maintained a response posture, while carrying out a proportional response maneuver corresponding to the flight of a North Korean military aircraft.”

By Reuters. (Reporting by Josh Smith and David Brunnstrom; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Grant McCool)