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North Korea moves warplanes close to 'South' after missile launches
North Korea flew 12 fighter jets near its border with South Korea on Thursday, prompting the South to shoot down 30 military jets in response, Seoul officials said. The highly unusual incident came hours after North Korea fired two ballistic missiles into the sea in its sixth round of missile tests in less than two weeks.
Eight North Korean fighter jets and four bombers flew in formation and are believed to have conducted air-to-ground fire drills, South Korea's military said.
The military said South Korea responded by scrambling 30 fighter jets and other fighter jets, although they did not engage in any clashes with North Korean jets.
The North Korean planes were possibly tens of kilometers from the border, South Korean media said.
North Korea has sent military aircraft near the border before, but the Yonhap news agency said this is the first time it has mobilized so many fighter jets for such a provocative flight and exercise.
Tensions have risen sharply on the Korean Peninsula after North Korea's latest barrage of missile tests prompted South Korea, the United States and Japan to conduct joint drills in response.
Earlier on Thursday, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles toward its eastern waters. The launches came after the United States deployed an aircraft carrier near the Korean Peninsula in response to North Korea's launch of a nuclear-capable missile over Japan earlier this week.
North Korea has conducted a record number of missile tests this year. South Korean officials said the North could raise tensions further by testing an intercontinental ballistic missile or carrying out its first nuclear test since 2017, following a long-standing pattern of escalating hostilities before trying to extract concessions. from outside.