S. Korea Fires Shots After Invading North Drones

South Korea's military deployed fighter jets, attack helicopters and fired warning shots on Monday, after it reportedly detected five North Korean drones crossing into its airspace in the morning, four of which flew around Ganghwa island and one over Seoul's northern airspace.

S. Korea Fires Shots After Invading North Drones
Image credit: Yonhap/EPA-EFE [via The Guardian]

Facts

  • South Korea's military deployed fighter jets, attack helicopters and fired warning shots on Monday, after it reportedly detected five North Korean drones crossing into its airspace in the morning, four of which flew around Ganghwa island and one over Seoul's northern airspace.
  • The drones were allegedly similar to unmanned aerial vehicles spotted in 2014, which first prompted concerns of espionage from the North. They reportedly flew over the country for around seven hours, with attack helicopters firing about 100 shots but failing to shoot them down.
  • There were no immediate reports of civilian casualties or damage in South Korea, but defense officials stated that a KA-1 light attack plane crashed during takeoff, stressing that both of its two pilots ejected safely.
  • This is the first time alleged North Korean drones have been caught entering South's airspace since 2017, marking another escalation in the already strained relations. It comes as the North fired two short-range ballistic missiles on Friday following a US-South Korea joint air drill some days earlier.
  • A North Korean drone with a camera was found in 2017 on a mountain in South Korea close to the border, leading Seoul to suggest that it was being used as part of a spying mission carried out by Pyongyang.
  • North Korea has conducted an unprecedented number of missile tests in 2022 and claimed in recent weeks to have carried out major tests to obtain its first spy satellite and a more mobile intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the US mainland.

Sources: CNN, Korea joongang daily, Associated Press, Al Jazeera, Axios, and FOX News.

Narratives

  • Republican narrative, as provided by RedState. You can’t blame Kim Jong-un for flexing North Korea’s military muscle when Biden is recklessly saber-rattling with Taiwan and China — how does he know the US won't also team up with South Korea for an invasion of the North? Trump's relationship with, and policies towards, North Korea maintained stability in the Korean Peninsula.
  • Democratic narrative, as provided by MSNBC. Kim Jong-un's geopolitical actions have been erratic, and his missile launches are destabilizing the Peninsula. Instead of provoking a confrontation, the leader should take the Biden administration up on its offer to meet without preconditions, and settle any grievances peacefully. Biden is showing strength and prudence in the region.
  • Libertarian narrative, as provided by AntiWar. The US has threatened to nuke North Korea, which has the right to defend itself. The US should stop playing 'GloboCop' and prioritize solving its domestic problems.

Predictions