North Korea Scrambles Jets After US Spy Plane Enters Economic Zone

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Friday, Aug 18, 2023 - 10:00 PM

North Korea’s military scrambled jets on Friday to intercept a US reconnaissance aircraft which Pyongyang says breached the country's economic zone off the east coast. 

State-run KCNA called it "a dangerous military provocation" for which the north is preparing further measures to deter incursions, based on a top military command statement. 

US Navy image

The US spy plane reportedly entered as deep as 14km into North Korea's economic zone (EEZ), which the US sees as international airspace - given an EEZ extends up to 200 nautical miles beyond a nation's territorial waters.

This fresh incident comes after the Kim Jong Un government's ballistic missile test launches have gone relatively quiet in recent days, compared to prior weeks of a series of ramped-up tests warning against the intermittent US-South Korea drills. 

Also on Friday the White House made a big announcement related to ongoing joint exercises, with Biden national security advisor Jake Sullivan outlining a plant for a new multiyear military exercises between the U.S., Japan and South Korea. He specifically identified the need for readiness in the face of provocations from China and North Korea.

"We're opening a new era, and we're making sure that era has staying power," Sullivan told reporters ahead of a daylong summit with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at Camp David.

"We're announcing significant steps to enhance trilateral security cooperation in the region in the face of North Korean provocations, including a multiyear exercise plan, deeper coordination and integration on ballistic missile defense, and improving information sharing and crisis communication," Sullivan said.

All of this is likely to rile Pyongyang further, after it recently ratcheted its nuclear rhetoric in the wake of the Ohio-Class USS Kentucky having docked in the South Korean port of Busan in July, which marked the first time since 1981 that an American nuclear-armed submarine arrived in the country.