According to the Arirang News website, a South Korean F-15K fighter jet “equipped with air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles” was launched on Friday, Sept. 21, after six North Korean fishing vessels crossed the Northern Limit Line in the the Yellow Sea.
The North Korean boats were spotted by South Korean patrol ships that fired warning shots to force them back while the F-15K on standby alert was launched to provide air support.
Although North Korean vessels have crossed the border five times this month, it was the first time in two years that Seoul has used military power to repel North Korean fishing boats near the maritime border in the Yellow Sea, that alongside the airspace near the DMZ, has been the scene of several naval skirmishes between the two Koreas.
In March, 2010, a South Korean warship in the area was torpedoed, with the death of 46 sailors.
The Republic of Korea Air Force F-15Ks were scrambled in June when North Korean Migs flew close to the South Korea’s airspace. They took part to the Red Flag 12-2 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, in February 2012.
Image credit: Tony Lovelock