Twelve North Korean fighters and bombers flew in a protest-like formation on the afternoon of the 6th. The reason North Korea, which is suffering from a shortage of energy, carried out a large-scale flight is considered unusual, and is analyzed to be in response to a joint South Korea-US-Japan exercise. In particular, these military aircraft were also trained in air-to-ground shooting during flight. North Korea fired two ballistic missiles in two days this morning. Despite the re-launch of the US nuclear aircraft carrier ‘Ronald Reagan’ in the East Sea, military tensions between South Korea, the US and North Korea are increasing as North Korea resists various military provocations.
Military, F-15K, etc. 30 units in response sortie
According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the 6th, 12 military aircraft, including eight North Korean fighters and four bombers, flew towards Hwangju from Goksan, Hwanghae Province, for about an hour from 2pm on the same day. In particular, it is known that these military aircraft flew south of the ‘special surveillance line’ established by the South Korean military over North Korea, and conducted air-to-ground shooting training in an area specifically for about an hour.
The special surveillance line is a line established by the army for quick response, and is located several tens of kilometers north of the Tactical Action Line (TAL). Given that North Korean fighters reach the metropolitan area within 3 to 5 minutes after takeoff, the TAL is established almost 20 to 50 km north of the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) and Boundary Line North Sea (NLL) in the West Sea. North Korean military aircraft reportedly did not fly over the TAL.
“Our military responded tremendously by promptly deploying approximately 30 F-15K fighters,” explained the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It is said to be the first time in a year that North Korean military aircraft have conducted formation flight and air-to-ground shooting exercises. Such a move is analyzed as an armed demonstration against the departure of the Reagan and the combined exercise of the naval forces of South Korea and the United States and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces held on the same day.
While North Korea conducted a flight in formation, South Korea, the United States, and Japan conducted a missile defense drill in the East Sea for about two hours in response to North Korea’s ballistic missile provocation.
Another ballistic missile launch in two days
North Korea also fired two short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) into the East Sea from the Samseok area of Pyongyang between 6:01 am and 6:23 am on the same day. According to the flight path, the first missile is a super large multiple rocket launcher (KN-25), and the second is the North Korean version of the Iskander ballistic missile (KN-23). It is analyzed that he would have tested various missiles from a new location, tested a mixture of missiles in case of an emergency, and tried to neutralize the interceptor network.
This is the first time that Samseok District appears as a launch site. Samseok District, where the Pyongyang Defense Command is located, is east of Sunan Airport, which North Korea normally uses as a missile launch site in Pyongyang. It is a little far from the center of the main city of Pyongyang. For this reason, some observers say that North Korea is trying to show that even if North Korea fires missiles at Sunan Airport in a crisis, and South Korea and the United States hit Sunan at the origin, it can launch a counter attack on other points such as Samseok.
Strategies such as intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), and the 7th nuclear test, while showing that it will not support even one step in response to South Korea-U.S. and South Korea-US -Japan combined countermeasures There is also an analysis that it is a prelude to provocation. Hong Min, head of the North Korea research department at the Institute for National Unification, said, “North Korea’s successive responses are ultimately intended to blame the actions of South Korea and the United States for the promotion of nuclear weapons.”
The President’s Office held an emergency standing committee of the National Security Council (NSC) chaired by Kim Seong-han, head of the National Security Bureau, on the same day, and warned that “North Korea’s provocation will face a stronger response.” There is also the possibility that South Korean and US military authorities may respond by sending strategic assets such as US B-1B strategic bombers.
By Kim Dong-hyun, firstname.lastname@example.org staff reporter