Drone Recovered In S Korea Verified From North, Had Sensitive Photos, “Grave Provocation”

north korean drone

South Korea’s military confirmed on Wednesday that a drone recovered earlier this month on a mountain near the Demilitarized Zone border has been confirmed to be North Korean. They described the intrusion as a “grave provocation” and a violation of the Korean War truce.

Reuters reports that the drone went down while on the final portion of a reconnaissance flight into the South and was equipped with a camera and contained aerial photographs of a US anti-missile defense system located in a southern region of South Korea.

In their briefing, South Korea’s defense ministry and military officials stated that the origin and flight path of the drone were confirmed in an analysis of the onboard computer and camera. Jeon Dong-jin, an official of the South Korea Joint Chiefs of Staff office said, “The intrusion of our airspace by the North Korean drone and photographing of a military base is a violation of the Armistice and an agreement on non-aggression and is an act of grave provocation.”

He said, “We strongly condemn the North’s continued attempts at penetrating the South with drones and once again, demand all acts of provocation are halted. If North Korea continues to engage in acts of provocation against the South, our military will forcefully retaliate and we warn all responsibility for events occurring going forth is with the North.”

The drone was launched in the Kumgang-gun area in Kangwon Province on May 2, defense ministry’s spokesman Moon Sang-gyun told the briefing. “The aircraft proceeded to fly for a total of five hours and thirty minutes and its assessed flight path matched the evidence seen in the photographs taken by it.”

He noted the drone contained approximately 550 photographs. The military determined its mission as being to collect information on the South Korean military bases as well as the anti-missile Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system located in Seongju, South Korea, 135 miles south of Seoul.

The drone had turned around in Seongju after taking photographs, said Moon, and later crashed in Inje-gun in the South’s Gangwon Province where it was found and retrieved by South Korean military on June 9th. The U.S. THAAD anti-defense system has been deployed in South Korea to counter a growing missile threat from North Korea.

North Korean drones are known to have flown over South Korea several times. The defense ministry said on Wednesday that this latest drone matched, for the most part, another North Korean drone discovered in 2014 on Baengnyeong Island, near the inter-Korean maritime border.

 

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