Navy says it initially regarded N.Ok. drone intrusion as non-emergency scenario

SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s front-line troops initially considered North Korea’s drone infiltrations final month as a non-emergency scenario, an evaluation that brought about a delay within the army’s general response, Seoul officers stated Thursday.

The Joint Chiefs of Employees (JCS) briefed the Nationwide Meeting’s protection committee on an interim final result of its inspection of the botched operation towards 5 North Korean drones that violated the South’s airspace on Dec. 26.

Personnel of the Army’s First Corps first detected one of many drones intruding throughout the inter-Korean border, however they didn’t regard it as an “emergency” that may have activated key mechanisms to swiftly share and disseminate info amongst related army items.

As a substitute, they categorised the scenario as one which requires “frequent” updates, the JCS stated, a purpose why inter-unit cooperation methods remained dormant on the time.

JCS officers cited a set of causes for such an evaluation, together with difficulties figuring out what was initially seen as a small flying object showing on and off the radar in a complicated method.

“There are over 2,000 radar trails a day and there are nice limitations in determing that they’re the enemy’s small unmanned aerial automobiles,” a army official instructed reporters on situation of anonymity.

The JCS additionally discovered that the First Corps’ air protection reporting system was not linked to the Capital Protection Command, elevating questions in regards to the items’ capabilities to hold out missions collectively. The problem has since been addressed, the JCS stated.

The officers raised the chance that one of many drones, which flew near the workplace of President Yoon Suk Yeol in Seoul’s central district of Yongsan, carried a industrial digital camera.

However they harassed there may need been “limits” within the drone’s capability to take photographs of the Yongsan space given its flight altitude and the presumed efficiency of the digital camera.

The officers additionally stated that the drones in query had been regarded as extra superior in contrast with the North Korean drones discovered to have crashed within the South in 2014 and 2017.

As for the North’s intentions behind the drone incursions, the JCS stated they could have been designed to check the South’s response capabilities and sow confusion amongst South Koreans.

Requested whether or not the army would maintain anyone answerable for the failed operation towards the drones, JCS Chairman Gen. Kim Seung-kyum struck a cautious word.

“We plan to take a crucial step in accordance with the inspection final result after a cautious assessment,” he instructed lawmakers.

Protection Minister Lee Jong-sup (R) and Joint Chiefs of Employees Chairman Gen. Kim Seung-kyum (2nd from L) take their seats on the Nationwide Meeting in western Seoul on Jan. 26, 2023, earlier than they report back to lawmakers on the army’s weekslong inspection of the operation towards 5 North Korean drones that violated the South’s airspace on Dec. 26. (Yonhap)

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