North Korea Reportedly Moving Aircraft to Coast

Analysts doubt US planes are in danger
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2017 9:20 AM CDT
This image taken from a propaganda video released by North Korea shows a B-1B bomber hit by a missile.   (DPRK Today via AP)
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(Newser) – The promised countermeasures to President Trump's supposed "declaration of war" on North Korea may already be in the works. A South Korean lawmaker briefed by the country's spy agency says North Korea is moving aircraft to its east coast in an effort to bolster its defenses, per Reuters. The revelation comes days after US bombers flew in international airspace east of North Korea, prompting Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho to warn the North would shoot down US planes "even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country." Adding to the tension: a recent propaganda video released by the North Korean regime—using photos and simple animation—shows US warplanes and an aircraft carrier under attack, reports the AP.

Despite that, military analysts don't believe there's any real risk to US planes. For one thing, South Korean intelligence suggests North Korean radar missed Sunday's flights by US planes. For another, it isn't clear if North Korea has the technological capabilities to bring down planes outside its airspace. According to some analysts, North Korea might simply be blowing smoke in an effort to divert attention away from its nuclear weapons program. The country might also be trying to save face. "The most obvious reason Ri made those comments was because North Korea simply can't tolerate such high-profile insults to its supreme leadership," Du Hyeogn Cha of Seoul's Asan Institute for Policy Studies tells the AP. (Read more North Korea stories.)

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