North Korea has moved warplanes to a region of the country close to the flight path recently taken by U.S. bombers and F-15C fighters in international airspace.
The deployment comes after North Korean officials claimed that President Donald Trump had “declared war” on the country and thus Pyongyang now has a legitimate right to shoot down American aircraft.
A published report claimed that leader Kim Jong-un ordered fighters to an eastern coastal region. Another included satellite images released by ImageSat International showing what are believed to be Chinese-made Chengdu J-7 and Shenyang FT-2 and Shenyang F-5 fighters at an airbase.
These are obsolete aircraft. The J-7, the newest, is based on the Soviet Union’s MiG-21 and is a third-generation aircraft (the U.S. F-35, by comparison, is fifth-generation). Still, it’s notable that Pyongyang deployed them along the most recent flight path taken by U.S. aircraft.
That said, “the North is known to have an early warning radar system that has a detection range of up to 600 kilometers,” this source reminds us.
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