South Korea Sends Out Jets, Fires Warning Shots As North Korean Drones Get Close
- The military asked South Korea's transport ministry to stop flights from its Incheon and Gimpo airports, which the ministry said happened earlier.
- A defence ministry official said that a South Korean KA-1 light attack aircraft crashed soon after taking off from its Wonju base in the country's east.
The South Korean military said that North Korean drones broke into its airspace on Monday, so it sent out warplanes and attack helicopters and fired warning shots.
The military said that the drones came from North Korea and crossed what is called the Military Demarcation Line, which is the border between the two countries. The drones were spotted in the skies above the western city of Gimpo at around 10:25 am (0125 GMT).
Since 2017, when a North Korean drone thought to be on a spy mission crashed and was found on a mountain near the border, these are the first drones that are known to have come from the isolated neighbour.
A North Korean drone was also found on a South Korean island near the border in 2014.
In the latest attack, a military official said that at least one drone came down further and flew over Seoul, the capital of South Korea.
The military said it tried to shoot down the drones, but it wasn’t clear if it was successful or if any of them were armed.
The military asked South Korea’s transport ministry to stop flights from its Incheon and Gimpo airports, which the ministry said happened earlier.
A ministry official told Reuters that the delay started at 1:08 p.m. (04:08 GMT) at Gimpo and at 1:22 p.m. (04:22 GMT) at Incheon. It lasted for about an hour before flights started leaving again at around 2:10 p.m.
A defence ministry official said that a South Korean KA-1 light attack aircraft crashed soon after taking off from its Wonju base in the country’s east. It was trying to get away from the drones.
The two pilots were able to get out of the plane before it crashed, and they are now in the hospital.