North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un’s Influential Sister Accuses U.S. Spy Plane of Infringement, Issues Stark Warning.
In a notable development, the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un claimed on Monday that the country’s warplanes successfully repelled a U.S. spy plane that had violated its exclusive economic zone. In a stern message, she cautioned that the U.S. must anticipate “shocking” consequences if it persists in conducting reconnaissance operations within the region.
Kim Yo Jong’s Response Follows North Korea’s Warning Against U.S. Reconnaissance Aircraft and Condemnation of Nuclear Missile Submarine Deployment
Kim Yo Jong, the influential figure in North Korea, delivered her remarks just hours after the nation issued a strong warning, stating its intentions to potentially shoot down American reconnaissance planes. The statement also criticized Washington’s proposed deployment of a nuclear missile submarine in close proximity to the Korean Peninsula. Kim Yo Jong’s comments align with North Korea’s stance, underscoring the nation’s concerns and objections regarding these recent developments.
U.S. and South Korean Military Yet to Address Kim’s Statements on U.S. Spy Planes, North Korea’s Defense Ministry Issues Warnings
The responses from the U.S. and South Korean militaries regarding Kim’s remarks, as one of her brother’s prominent foreign policy officials, are currently awaited. Her statements were published in state media on Monday evening.
Earlier in the day, North Korea’s Defense Ministry released a statement accusing the U.S. of violating its “inviolable airspace” by deploying spy planes and cautioning that any approaching aircraft could face potential interception.
In response, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff dismissed the claim that the U.S. had flown spy planes over North Korean territory. Spokesperson Lee Sung Joon clarified during a briefing that the U.S. was engaged in routine reconnaissance operations, which were conducted in collaboration with South Korea’s military.
In what appeared to be a response to the aforementioned statement, Kim accused the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff of assuming the role of a “spokesperson” for the U.S. military. She further alleged that the U.S. had been escalating its reconnaissance operations, flagrantly infringing upon North Korea’s sovereignty and safety.
While the statement from North Korea’s Defense Ministry seemingly implied an intrusion into the country’s territorial airspace, Kim clarified that the U.S. had deployed spy planes over the North’s exclusive economic zone. This zone extends up to 200 nautical miles from North Korean territory, granting the nation rights to its natural resources.
According to Kim, a U.S. spy plane crossed the eastern sea boundary between the two Koreas at approximately 5 a.m. on Monday, conducting reconnaissance activities within North Korea’s exclusive economic zone. North Korean warplanes promptly intercepted and forced the U.S. aircraft to retreat. Kim stated that the U.S. plane again crossed the eastern sea boundary at around 8:50 a.m., leading to the North Korean military issuing an unspecified “strong warning” to the United States.
Kim stated that North Korea would respond decisively if the U.S. persists in flying reconnaissance planes over their exclusive economic zone. However, she clarified that no direct counteraction would be taken for U.S. reconnaissance activities outside of this zone.
She warned that a “shocking incident” could occur in the future within the 20-40 kilometer range, an area where U.S. spy planes frequently intrude into the North Korean airspace above the economic water zone.
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