Dec 26, 2022 - World

South Korea fires warning shots after North Korea drones enter its airspace

A South Korean military helicopter.

A South Korean military helicopter fires flare shells during a drill in Yeoju on Oct. 19, 2022. Photo: KIM Jae-Hwan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

South Korea's military fired warning shots and launched fighter jets and helicopters Monday in response to five North Korean drones breaching the border, AP reports.

The big picture: It was the first time in five years that North Korean drones have violated South Korea's airspace.

Details: It's not clear if the South Korean military succeeded in shooting down the drones.

  • One drone traveled near Seoul, South Korea's capital, which is about an hour away from the border if traveling by car, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff Lee Seung-o said in a briefing, per Reuters.
  • One of South Korea's fighter jets crashed during takeoff, but its two pilots survived after ejecting from the aircraft, AP reports.
  • Commercial flights at two international airports near Seoul were temporarily suspended, per the New York Times.

State of play: South Korea's military response comes days after North Korea discharged two short-range ballistic missiles following a string of weapons drills this year, escalating tensions between the two countries, per AP.

Flashback: In 2017, a North Korean drone with a camera was found on a mountain in South Korea close to the border. The South Korean military suggested the drone was being used as part of a spying mission, Reuters reported.

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