Rival Koreas scramble warplanes in extension of tensions

Nov 4, 2022, 12:38 AM | Updated: 10:31 pm
FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take o...

FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)

(South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea scrambled about 80 military aircraft, including advanced F-35 fighter jets, on Friday after tracking about 180 flights by North Korean warplanes inside North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength.

North Korea’s mobilization of warplanes came after it test-fired around 30 ballistic missiles over the previous two days, including an intercontinental ballistic missile on Thursday that triggered evacuation warnings in Japan, in an angry response to ongoing joint exercises by hundreds of U.S. and South Korea military planes.

Later Friday, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry called its military actions this week an appropriate response to the joint exercises, which it described as a display of U.S. “military confrontation hysteria.” It said North Korea will respond with the “toughest counteraction” to any attempts by “hostile forces” to infringe on its sovereignty or security interests.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the North Korean warplanes were detected in various areas inland and along the country’s eastern and western coasts, but did not come particularly close to the Koreas’ border. The South Korean military spotted about 180 flight trails from 1 to 5 p.m., but it wasn’t immediately clear how many North Korean planes were involved and whether some may have flown more than once.

None of the planes breached the South Korean military’s virtual “tactical action” line, which is 20 to 50 kilometers (12 to 30 miles) north of the Koreas’ land and sea boundaries and is used for monitoring purposes to give the South enough time to respond to provocations or attacks.

South Korea still scrambled about 80 of its own warplanes, including an unspecified number of F-35 fighters. There weren’t any immediate reports of clashes.

U.S. and South Korean forces have been conducting joint “Vigilant Storm” aerial exercises involving about 240 warplanes, including F-35s. The exercises had been scheduled to end Friday, but the allies extended them to Saturday in response to North Korea’s intensified testing activity this week.

The extension of the drills was announced on Thursday after North Korea test-fired an ICBM, which triggered evacuation alerts and temporarily halted trains in northern Japan. It followed the launch by firing two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea.

Pak Jong Chon, a senior North Korean military official, then issued a statement threatening retaliation over the drills’ extension. North Korea subsequently fired three additional missiles into the sea and shot around 80 artillery rounds into the eastern parts of maritime buffer zones created by the rivals off their eastern and western coasts in 2018 as part of agreements to reduce tensions.

On Wednesday, North Korea fired more than 20 missiles, the most it has launched in a single day. Those launches came after Pak issued a veiled threat of a nuclear conflict with the United States and South Korea over their joint drills, which the North says are rehearsals for a potential invasion.

After already setting an annual record with dozens of ballistic missile launches in 2022, North Korea has further dialed up its testing activity since late September, including what it described as simulated nuclear attacks on South Korean and U.S. targets. It has said its tests are meant as a warning against the United States’ military drills with allies South Korea and Japan.

In response to North Korea’s increased weapons tests and growing nuclear threat, the U.S. and South Korea this year have resumed their large-scale military exercises that were downsized or suspended in previous years to support the Trump administration’s diplomatic efforts with the North and because of the pandemic.

North Korea particularly despises Vigilant Storm, which includes U.S. F-35B stealth fighter jets that can be heavily armed for land strike missions, said Hong Min, a senior analyst at Seoul’s Korea Institute for National Unification. He said the barrage of North Korean missile and artillery firings this week may indicate a sense of alarm.

“The sheer number of 240 warplanes (involved in the joint drills) is also extraordinary,” Hong said. “Just to compare, the United States fought the early 1990s Gulf War with most of its aerial power coming from two aircraft carriers that each accommodated 80 warplanes.”

In the statement attributed to an unidentified spokesperson, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said the United States and South Korea had created a seriously “unstable atmosphere” in the region with their military exercises. It accused the United States of mobilizing its allies in a campaign using sanctions and military threats to pressure North Korea to unilaterally disarm.

“The sustained provocation is bound to be followed by sustained counteraction,” the statement said.

“(North Korea) once again clarifies that it will never tolerate any attempt of the hostile forces to infringe upon its sovereignty and security interests but respond to it with the toughest counteraction to the last,” it said.

North Korea has launched dozens of ballistic missiles this year, including multiple ICBMs and an intermediate range missile flown over Japan. South Korean officials say there are indications North Korea in coming weeks could detonate its first nuclear test device since 2017.

Experts say North Korea is attempting to force the United States to accept it as a nuclear power and seeks to negotiate economic and security concessions from a position of strength. North Korea has punctuated its threats with an escalatory nuclear doctrine that authorizes preemptive nuclear attacks in a variety of loosely defined crisis situations.

Following a meeting Thursday at the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup released a joint statement saying they “strongly condemned” North Korea’s recent weapons demonstrations.

Both defense leaders stressed that any use of nuclear weapons, including lower-yield tactical nuclear devices, against Seoul or other regional allies such as Japan, would “result in the end of the Kim Jong Un regime by an overwhelming and decisive response of the alliance,” Lee said at a joint news conference with Austin.

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              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jet takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jet takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jet takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jet takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jet takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jet takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jet takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jet takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jet takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jet takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jet takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jet takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jet takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jet takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jet takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jet takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jet takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jet takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jet takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jet takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jet takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jet takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jet takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jet takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jet takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jets prepare to take off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              FILE - In this image taken from video, South Korean Air Force's F15K fighter jet takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in an undisclosed location in South Korea. South Korea has scrambled dozens of military aircraft, including advanced F35 fighter jets, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, after spotting 180 North Korean warplanes flying in North Korean territory in what appeared to be a defiant show of strength. (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP, File)
            
              A South Korean army soldier stands guard inside a military guard post as ribbons hanging on a wire fence wishing for peace of the two Koreas at the Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, South Korea, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. North Korea fired at least six missiles into the sea on Thursday, including an intercontinental ballistic missile that triggered evacuation warnings and halted trains in northern Japan, adding to a recent barrage of weapons tests that has escalated tensions in the region. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
            
              The ribbons with messages wishing for the peace of the two Koreas are hanged on the wire fences at the Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, in Paju, South Korea, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. North Korea fired at least six missiles into the sea on Thursday, including an intercontinental ballistic missile that triggered evacuation warnings and halted trains in northern Japan, adding to a recent barrage of weapons tests that has escalated tensions in the region. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
            
              A signboard showing the distance to North Korea's capital Pyongyang and to South Korea's capital Seoul is seen in Paju, South Korea, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. North Korea fired at least six missiles into the sea on Thursday, including an intercontinental ballistic missile that triggered evacuation warnings and halted trains in northern Japan, adding to a recent barrage of weapons tests that has escalated tensions in the region. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
            
              Visitors try to look toward the North side at the Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, South Korea, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. North Korea fired at least six missiles into the sea on Thursday, including an intercontinental ballistic missile that triggered evacuation warnings and halted trains in northern Japan, adding to a recent barrage of weapons tests that has escalated tensions in the region. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
            
              Visitors tour near the bridge that was destroyed during the Korean War, in Paju, South Korea, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. North Korea fired at least six missiles into the sea on Thursday, including an intercontinental ballistic missile that triggered evacuation warnings and halted trains in northern Japan, adding to a recent barrage of weapons tests that has escalated tensions in the region. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
            
              South Korean army soldiers stand guard inside a military guard post as ribbons are hanged on a wire fence wishing for peace of the two Koreas at the Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, South Korea, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. North Korea fired at least six missiles into the sea on Thursday, including an intercontinental ballistic missile that triggered evacuation warnings and halted trains in northern Japan, adding to a recent barrage of weapons tests that has escalated tensions in the region. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
            
              Visitors walk near the wire fences decorated with ribbons with messages wishing for the peace of the two Koreas at the Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, South Korea, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. North Korea fired at least six missiles into the sea on Thursday, including an intercontinental ballistic missile that triggered evacuation warnings and halted trains in northern Japan, adding to a recent barrage of weapons tests that has escalated tensions in the region. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
            
              A North Korean soldier stands at a military guard post as a North Korean flag flutters, seen from in Paju, South Korea, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. North Korea fired at least six missiles into the sea on Thursday, including an intercontinental ballistic missile that triggered evacuation warnings and halted trains in northern Japan, adding to a recent barrage of weapons tests that has escalated tensions in the region. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks that traded heavily or had substantial price changes Thursday: Tesla Inc., up $15.84 to $160.27. The electric vehicle maker’s profits surged in the fourth-quarter, beating Wall Street forecasts. Chevron Corp., up $8.71 to $187.79. The energy company raised its dividend and announced a $75 billion stock buyback program. Lam Research […]
15 hours ago
FILE - A sign for the Chipotle restaurant in Pittsburgh's Market Square is pictured Feb. 8, 2016. R...
Associated Press

Chipotle looks to hire 15,000 amid continuing labor shortage

Restaurants are beginning the new year with a recurring problem: labor shortages. Chipotle said Thursday it’s looking to hire 15,000 people in North America to ensure its stores are staffed up ahead of its busy spring season. Other chains are also looking for workers: Taco Bell has more than 25,000 listings for crew members posted […]
15 hours ago
FILE - Jack Phillips, who's case was heard by the Supreme Court five years ago after he objected to...
Associated Press

Colorado baker loses appeal over transgender birthday cake

DENVER (AP) — The Colorado baker who won a partial U.S. Supreme Court victory after refusing to make a gay couple’s wedding cake because of his Christian faith lost an appeal Thursday in his latest legal fight, involving his rejection of a request for a birthday cake celebrating a gender transition. The Colorado Court of […]
15 hours ago
FILE - A locomotive stops to switch tracks before arriving at the Selkirk rail yard Wednesday, Sept...
Associated Press

Amid gains, railroaders seeking quality-of-life improvements

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The contract imposed on railroad workers last fall didn’t resolve their quality-of-life issues, but already this year there are indications the major freight railroads are starting to address some of their concerns about demanding schedules that keep many of them on call 24-7 without paid sick time. Still, most workers and […]
15 hours ago
FILE - The Emirati Minister of State and the CEO of Abu Dhabi's state-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Co...
Associated Press

Climate groups decry selection of oil chief to oversee COP28

Hundreds of climate and environmental groups from around the world released a letter Thursday that decried the nomination of an oil executive to oversee the United Nations climate negotiations at COP28 this year. Earlier this month, the United Arab Emirates, host of the U.N. climate talks this year, named Sultan al-Jaber to the presidency of […]
15 hours ago

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