South Korea scrambles 80 fighters after spotting North Korean warplanes

South Korea has scrambled dozens of fighter jets after spotting hundreds of North Korean warplanes on November 4, 2022.  

The country’s military said in a statement reported by various media that it detected some 180 North Korean military aircraft between 11am and 3pm local time. The jets were spotted in various areas, inland as well as off the western and eastern coasts, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).   

In response, South Korea sent up about 80 of its fighter jets, including Lockheed Martin F-35As. Meanwhile, some 240 aircraft that were participating in a joint exercise with the United States called Vigilant Storm continued with the drills.

The escalation comes after North Korea began firing missiles in protest at Vigilant Storm, including a suspected failed launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on November 3. Seoul has extended the Vigilant Storm drills by an extra day, to November 5 as a result. 

"Our military is maintaining a firm readiness posture for further provocations while closely monitoring the North Korean military's related movements under close cooperation between South Korea and the United States," the JCS said, according to the Yonhap news agency.  

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