The South Korean military fired several warning shots after five North Korean drones crossed the border between the two countries, Yonhap News Agency said.
The South Korean military spotted several drones in the sky in the border areas of Gyeonggi Province at 10:25 a. m. local time, the Joint Chiefs of Staff told the agency.
The drones crossed the military demarcation line that separates South Korea and North Korea. They were spotted in the cities of Gimpo and Paju, as well as on the island of Ganghwa. At least one North Korean drone was also seen in the sky over the capital of the Republic of Korea, Seoul.
In response, the South Korean army opened warning fire. After that, South Korea scrambled fighter jets and attack helicopters to shoot down the UAVs.
The South Korean KA-1 attack aircraft, which was supposed to participate in the destruction of drones, crashed while taking off from the Wonju air base. Both pilots ejected and survived. The cause of the crash is still unknown.
The invasion of the North Korean drones also led to the suspension of civilian flights at Gimpo and Incheon airports. Air traffic was suspended at 13:08 and 13:22 respectively, before it resumed at 14:10. A total of 30 flights were delayed. Reuters and Korea JongAnd Daily sources said that the flights were suspended at the request of the South Korean military.
The North Korean drones entered South Korean airspace for the first time since 2017, Yonhap News Agency said.
The two Koreas have been in conflict since 1950. In 1953, a truce was signed between the states, but the parties did not conclude a full-fledged peace treaty.
On December 23, the DPRK (North Korea) launched a ballistic missile towards the Sea of Japan. It was advised the ships located in the area not to approach the wreckage of the missile.
Incidents of confrontation between Ukrainian and Polish units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have become more frequent during the recent weeks