Kim Jong Un’s powerful military sister, Kim Yo Jong, alleged on Tuesday that a US spy plane entered North Korea’s exclusive economic zone eight times.
He claimed that the US Air Force plane’s “illegal incursion” took place in the sea 435 km (270 miles) east of Thongchon in Kangwon Province.
Washington has not commented on Pyongyang’s claims.
Kim warned the US would “experience a critical flight” if it continued with the alleged incursions, according to the state-run KCNA news agency.
South Korea’s military said earlier that the plane was conducting “normal” flights over the open ocean.
Kim said Seoul should avoid interfering in what he sees as a dispute between North Korea and the US.
North Korea threatens ‘shocking accident’
Kim’s comments early Tuesday came just hours after North Korea accused the US of flying reconnaissance aircraft over its airspace on Monday.
North Korea has said it will shoot down such surveillance flights in certain circumstances, which it claims is currently holding back.
Pyongyang has also criticized what it says is a move by the US to deploy nuclear missile submarines near the Korean peninsula.
In a statement, a spokesman for the North’s Ministry of National Defense said the “provocative” military actions taken by the US “repeatedly” brought the Korean peninsula closer to a nuclear conflict.
“There is no guarantee that a shocking accident like the downing of US Air Force strategic reconnaissance planes will not happen in the East Sea of Korea,” the spokesman added in a statement quoted by the official KCNA news agency.
There was no immediate response from the US military, while South Korea dismissed the North’s claim of airspace violations as false. It said the US was conducting routine reconnaissance missions around the peninsula.
Progress through ‘nuclear blackmail’
Condemned the US plan to deploy strategic nuclear assets around the Korean peninsula.
Pyongyang called it “the most undisguised nuclear blackmail” against North Korea, arguing that it is a serious threat to peace and security in the region.
North Korea has spent years developing and testing nuclear weapons in violation of international treaties and sanctions.
In April, the US announced its plan to send a US Navy-armed ballistic missile submarine to a South Korean port for the first time since the 1980s. It, however, did not share the timeline for the visit.
“Whether the dire situation, which is desired by no one, is done or not on the Korean peninsula depends on the future action of the US, and if a sudden situation occurs … the US will be fully responsible for it,” KCNA said.
Pyongyang cited past incidents of it engaging or shooting down US planes, and warned the US to pay for “frantically staged” aerial espionage.
zc, mf/jcg (AFP, Reuters)