North Korea intercepts U.S. reconnaissance plane

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by medea, Mar 3, 2003.

  1. medea macrumors 68030

    medea

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2002
    Location:
    Madison, Wi
    #1
    A U.S. Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft was intercepted over the Sea of Japan on Sunday by four armed North Korean MiG fighter jets, one of which locked its weapons-targeting radar onto the U.S. plane, U.S. military sources said.
    At least two of the planes were MiG-29s. The two other fighters were thought to be MiG-23s.
    U.S. military sources said Monday that the Air Force plane was in international airspace about 150 miles [240 kilometers] off the Korean peninsula when the MiGs approached and flew alongside for 20 minutes, at some points coming within less than 400 feet of the U.S. plane.
    The RC-135 is a modified version of the military C-135 cargo plane, which is based on the Boeing 707 commercial airliner.
    The Air Force plane returned to its base in Okinawa, Japan, without incident. U.S. officials say it was the first incident of a U.S. plane being intercepted by North Korean aircraft in more than 30 years.
    The previous incident occurred in 1969, when a North Korean fighter shot down a U.S. EC-121 reconnaissance aircraft over the Sea of Japan, killing more than 30 U.S. airmen, according to a Pentagon official.
    Tension has been rising on the Korean Peninsula since North Korea disclosed in October that it had renewed efforts to develop nuclear weapons it swore off in a 1994 agreement.
    Last week, North Korea fired a short-range missile at sea during naval exercises, and on Friday, Japanese newspapers reported that Pyongyang had tested a rocket booster for its Taepo Dong ballistic missile at a launch site on the country's east coast in January.
    http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/03/03/nkorea.intercept/index.html
     
  2. macktheknife macrumors 6502a

    macktheknife

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    #2
    This is more bad news that will add more fuel to an already-volatile situation. North Korea is all but daring the United States to attack. China, South Korea, and Japan are all justifiably worried. Here's a good article from the Cato Institute on the North Korea situation:

    http://www.cato.org/pubs/fpbriefs/fpb-073es.html

    BTW, I agree with the article that paying more "blackmail" money to North Korea will not dissuade Kim Jong-Il from permanently abandoning his weapons program, but I'm not sure encouraging South Korea and Japan to go nuclear will discourage NK.
     
  3. macktheknife macrumors 6502a

    macktheknife

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    #3

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