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  • North Korean drones entered South Korean airspace on Monday for the first time since 2017.
  • South Korea responded by firing warning shots and jamming fighter jets.
  • North Korea has significantly stepped up its missile testing this year.

Five North Korean drones crossed the South Korean border on Monday for the first time in five years, stoking tension between the two neighbors.

A drone traveled as far north as Seoul, the South Korean capital, about an hour’s drive from the border, a South Korean defense official said during a briefing. The other four flew over Ganghwa Island, according to a CNN report.

South Korea’s military responded by firing on the drones, although the country’s defense ministry could not confirm whether any drones had been shot down.

“This is a clear provocation and invasion of our airspace by North Korea,” South Korean defense official Lee Seung-oh said during a briefing.

Lee said the South Korean military conducted a reconnaissance mission after the drones entered its airspace, with some assets crossing into North Korean territory and filming its military installations.

The last time a North Korean drone entered South Korean airspace was five years ago, according to the South Korean military.

In 2017, South Korea said it had recovered a downed North Korean drone that was spying on a US-built missile system deployed in the country, according to a CNN report at the time.

North Korea has aggressively stepped up missile testing this year, firing missiles on 36 separate days, the highest annual tally since Kim Jong Un took power in 2012, according to CNN.

On Friday, South Korea said North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles, according to CNN.


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South Korea fires on North Korean unmanned aerial vehicles

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