South Korea scrambled dozens of combat aircraft Friday after detecting about 180 North Koren fighters flying near their shared border, the latest in a series of Pyongyang missile launches and other saber-rattling incidents that ratcheted up tensions across the region.
The Republic of Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said Pyongyang sent its jet fighters operating across the breadth of the border.
The ROK Air Force then sortied its fighters, including about 80 fifth-generation F-35As. It also mobilized support and air defense forces, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.
“Our military is maintaining a firm readiness posture for further provocations while closely monitoring the related developments of the North Korean military under close ROK-US cooperation,” it said.
Pyongyang has said its actions were in reaction to “Vigilant Storm,” a joint air exercise between the ROK and the U.S. involving more than 200 aircraft and thousands of troops. The latest North Korean provocations prompted U.S. and South Korean officials to further extend the exercise.