North, South Korean jets face off
North Korea flew 12 warplanes—eight fighter jets and four bombers—near its border with South Korea on Thursday. The South scrambled 30 fighter jets in response. The jets did not clash, but the close call follows North Korea launching two ballistic missiles into the sea Thursday morning. It was its sixth round of missile testing in less than two weeks. South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported that while North Korean jets have come near the border before, never have so many warplanes been involved in such an incident.
Why is North Korea being so provocative? North Korean leader Kim Jong Un seems determined to expand his nuclear arsenal in defiance of international sanctions and eventually win recognition as a legitimate nuclear state. He has asked Washington to lift economic sanctions, but the United States and its allies have shown no sign of doing so.
Dig deeper: Listen to my report on The World and Everything in It podcast about how North Korea is trying to elicit concessions from the United States.
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