Tags: north | korea | drone | ditched | south | toy

North Korea Drone Ditched in South Looks Like Toy Plane With Camera

Wednesday, 02 Apr 2014 01:21 PM

By Michael Mullins

A "toy-like " North Korean drone that ditched on a South Korean island was discovered on Monday and described as little more than "a model airplane fitted with a camera."

On Wednesday, the South Korean military confirmed that the light-blue drone found on the island of Baengnyeong belonged to their adversary to the north.

The origins of the drone could not initially be confirmed, despite the fact that it closely resembled many of the drones displayed in North Korean military parades, NBC News reported.

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"The aircraft is so small that it looks as though it could not have flown from anywhere else [other than North Korea] – that is unless it is from South Korea and they haven't identified it, but that is less likely," Paul Schulte, of London's Kings College Department of War Studies, told NBC News.

Similar drones have been downed in South Korean territory before, such as one found near the border town of Paju on March 24, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

The discovery of the surveillance aircraft came less than an hour after a three-hour artillery barrage between South and North Korea in each side's territorial waters near a disputed maritime border on Monday, Reuters reported.

As part of the artillery exercise, North Korea reportedly fired more than 100 artillery rounds into South Korean waters, which prompted a similar response from the South.

Kim Jong Un's regime has reportedly based much of its unmanned aircraft on old Western technology, some of which has been sold through countries like Syria, according to Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., co-founder of AllSource Analysis – a Colorado-based intelligence contractor.

"North Korea has had drones for a number of years now," Bermudez told NBC News. "This one looks like it has had a modified fuselage and been fitted with a camera – imagine a model airplane with a camera. It seems to have some of the characteristics of other North Korean drones we know about."

According to Kim Hyoung-joong, a cyber-defense professor at Korea University in Seoul, such drones appear "like a toy," but can be used "for surveillance purposes."

"It doesn't have to be a high-tech, top-notch military product like Predators or Global Hawk drones," Hyoung-joong told Reuters. "This type of toy-like equipment can find a blind spot."

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