Unidentified drone crashed on South Korean border island: military

SEOUL Tue Apr 1, 2014 6:08am EDT

An crashed unmanned drone is seen on Baengnyeong, an island near the border with North Korea April 1, 2014. REUTERS/Yonhap

An crashed unmanned drone is seen on Baengnyeong, an island near the border with North Korea April 1, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Yonhap

SEOUL (Reuters) - An unmanned drone crashed on a South Korean island near a disputed maritime border with North Korea, a South Korean defense ministry official said on Tuesday, triggering an investigation into whether the aircraft was from the North.

The drone fell on Baengnyeong island at about 4 p.m. on Monday, when North Korea fired hundreds of artillery rounds in seas close to a disputed maritime line. That triggered a similar show of strength from South Korea.

The South Korean military was trying to verify where the drone had come from and what its purpose might have been, and was also looking into any possible link to North Korea's espionage operations, the military official told Reuters.

The official, who asked not to be identified, did not give any further details.

North Korea fired more than 100 artillery rounds into South Korean waters as part of a drill on Monday, prompting the South to fire back. The exercise appeared to be more saber-rattling by Pyongyang, rather than the start of a military standoff.

Yonhap News Agency, quoting an unidentified South Korean government official, reported that the drone was 2 to 3 meters (7 to 10 ft) long and comprised a Japanese engine and Chinese parts, as well as a small camera.

Yonhap also said the drone was similar to another found in a border city late last month.

Images of the crashed drone on domestic cable news network YTN showed the wreckage of a small aircraft bearing similar paint and markings to North Korean drones displayed in a Pyongyang parade last year.

Those drones were larger target drones modified to crash into pre-determined targets, but are not believed to be capable of air strikes or long-range surveillance flights.

Small, commercially available remote-controlled aircraft can be modified to carry video cameras and other surveillance equipment.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park; Additional reporting by James Pearson; Editing by David Chance, Paul Tait and Clarence Fernandez)

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Comments (2)
Has NKorea suddenly become the latest nation to consider unmanned killing machines acceptable ?
Perhaps Britain and Americas expertise at using Reapers in Pakistan,Afghanistan, Iraq, and other `unruly countries ` who `harbour ` terrorists is the latest piece of equipment that prnk are interested in mastering.
Who knows, one day maybe a NKorean version of a Hellfire missile will be used to eradicate those deemed ` terrorists` by Nkorea.
Duck n cover those in Washington, the Pentagon, and London who plan the slaughter of innocents who happen to be in close proximity to ` terrorists`, and are then discarded with a wave of the hand as `collaterall damage`-a horrible phrase used to justify corporate slaughter of humans valued as nothing.

Apr 01, 2014 4:48am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Darkdart wrote:
This is HILARIOUS! Not only is North Korea to blame, but who else but Kim’s regime could have gotten that pastel blue paint job? It’s like they used clearance car paint from the 60′s! And on NBC.com, they just happen to show the two photos. The one here with the crashed drone and the same ones on their carriers during a downtown parade. ROFLMAO! They’re identical! Was North Korea to blame? I can see Kim sitting in his easy chair staring at an old Sony Trinitron with a joystick in his hands…. “))

Apr 01, 2014 8:47am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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