North Korea moving warplanes close to U.S. aircraft flight path – Forward Observer Shop

North Korea moving warplanes close to U.S. aircraft flight path

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.

Why it’s on our radar: Information in this article helps satisfy Priority Intelligence Requirement 3: What are the latest indicators of a U.S.-North Korea war?  Each week in our Strategic Intelligence Summary, we gauge the likelihood and scope of conflict with Russia, China, North Korea, and in the Middle East, and track the latest developments in each region.  Subscribe here to receive our premium intelligence products prepared by Intelligence and special operations veterans.

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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