South Korea Discovers North Korean Dronedrone had crashed in the eastern Gangwon-do Province. Experts believe that the drone was sent out to take photos of the THAAD battery from the United States.
The drone was discovered four days after North Korea tested a new anti-ship missile. These constant missile tests from North Korea continue to also complicate South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s ties with the North and South.
South Korean investigators who discovered the drone also found hundreds of photos from the Sony camera. Some of the photos were of U.S. missile launches and an American radar system installed in southeastern Seongju.
Drone Complicates South Korea, North Korea Relations
The Washington Post reports:
“Under a deal with Moon’s conservative predecessor, the United States deployed key components of the so-called Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system this spring to cope with a potential North Korean nuclear threat.”
“North Korea called the system a provocation aimed at bolstering U.S. military hegemony in the region. China also opposes the deployment because it worries that THAAD’s powerful radar system can peer into its own territory.”
“The drone was believed to have crashed because it ran short of fuel while returning to North Korea. The official said more analysis was being conducted, including trying to determine if the drone had already transmitted the 10 photos of the THAAD site.”
North Korea Has Been Suspected Of Drones Before
“It is not the first time a suspected North Korean drone has been caught following a surveillance mission. Several suspected drones were found on a South Korean island near the border in 2014, which were equipped with Japanese-made cameras that photographed South Korea’s presidential Blue House, along with other areas. North Korea has around 300 drones of different types.”
“Among them are combat drones and UAVs designed for reconnaissance, according to a 2016 UN report cited by Reuters.”