2 Koreas Scramble Fighter Jets

      November 05, 2012 10:17

      South Korean fighter planes were scrambled late last month as North Korean fighter jets flew dangerously close to the heavily-armed inter-Korean border. The incident came just after the North on Oct. 19 threatened to attack the Imjingak pavilion overlooking the border if Seoul allowed activists to send propaganda leaflets to the North.

      "Four or five North Korean MiG jets crossed over the 'tactical action line' as far south as Kaesong, prompting us to mobilize KF-16 fighters," a government source here said Sunday.

      The North Korean jets turned back shortly afterwards, the source added.

      The tactical action line is a virtual line that the South Korean military has designated 20 to 50 km north of the demilitarized zone and the Northern Limit Line, the de facto maritime border, to respond to a North Korean provocation. The military will scramble fighter jets if North Korean planes cross over the line.

      Military officials here said there is a strong chance that Pyongyang ordered the threatening maneuvers to show South Korea it was serious about attacking Imjingak as activists prepared to float 200,000 anti-communist leaflets to the North attached to helium balloons. Police in the event prevented the activists from launching their balloons from the pavilion.

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