North Korea warned on Monday that their military might start shooting down U.S. Air Force planes after accusing the U.S. of “illegally” intruding into its airspace “several times.”
— One America News (@OANN) July 10, 2023
The announcement came amid rising tensions on the Korean peninsula, with North Korea’s Ministry of National Defense condemning what they termed as “provocative military actions” by the United States. The unnamed spokesperson expressed concerns that such actions were pushing the region closer to a potential nuclear conflict.
The anonymous source emphasized the unpredictability of the situation, stating, “There is no guarantee that such a shocking accident as the downing of the U.S. Air Force strategic reconnaissance planes will not happen.”
One of the key figures raising concerns was Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Kim accused the U.S. of flying spy planes over North Korea’s exclusive economic zone, an area within 200 nautical miles of its territory where it holds rights to natural resources.
She claimed a spy plane had crossed the eastern sea boundary between North and South Korea early on Monday, leading to its pursuit by North Korean warplanes. Kim alleged the U.S. repeated the violation later that morning, prompting a warning from North Korea.
However, South Korea’s military disputed North Korea’s claims, stating the U.S. had not violated North Korean airspace and that reconnaissance flights were routine in the region.
The contradiction between the two Koreas further complicated the already tense situation, with Kim Yo Jong accusing South Korea’s Chiefs of Staff of serving as a mouthpiece for the U.S. military and criticizing the perceived infringement on North Korea’s sovereignty and safety.
In response, the U.S. State Department spokesperson, Matthew Miller, called on North Korea to refrain from taking escalatory actions. He also expressed the United States’ willingness to engage in serious and sustained diplomacy with North Korea without any stipulations.
However, North Korea rejected the proposal, indicating a reluctance to pursue diplomatic dialogue at this time. As the international community closely monitors the situation, diplomatic efforts and dialogue remain crucial in preventing further escalation and possible war.