North Korea accuses US, South Korea of flying spy planes, ships

  • World
  • Sunday, 26 May 2024

FILE PHOTO: A North Korean flag flutters on top of the 160-metre tall tower at North Korea's propaganda village of Gijungdong, in this picture taken from Tae Sung freedom village near the Military Demarcation Line (MDL), inside the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas, in Paju, South Korea, September 30, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea's defence ministry accused the United States and South Korea of ramping up reconnaissance activities around the inter-Korean border, warning that it will act if its sovereignty and security is violated, state media KCNA said on Sunday.

North Korea's vice defence minister Kim Gang Il said the U.S. had flown at least 16 of its RC-135 and U-2S strategic reconnaissance planes and RQ-4B drone over the Korean peninsula between May 13 and 24.

He also accused South Korea's navy and coast guard of stoking military tension by stepping up patrol activities and increasingly breaching the maritime border.

Kim also criticised propaganda leaflets sent in balloons from South Korea, calling it a "dangerous provocation."

North Korean defectors and activists in South Korea regularly send balloons containing anti-Pyongyang leaflets, alongside food, medicine, money, mini radios and USB sticks loaded with South Korean news and dramas.

"Even now, the U.S. and South Korean puppet air forces are continuously mobilising various aircraft with little or no time gap throughout the day, carrying out aerial reconnaissance activities at a level comparable to wartime situations," Kim said in a statement published by KCNA.

Those activities seriously infringe on North Korea's national sovereignty and security, and will not be met with "offensive" countermeasures, he said.

"We will act immediately when the nation's sovereignty and security interests are violated," Kim added.

(Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Josie Kao)

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