South Korea’s President, Yoon Suk Yeol, on Tuesday called for stronger air defence and high-tech stealth drones to better monitor North Korea. This comes a day after Seoul accused North Korea of flying five drones across the border for the first time in five years.
In response to this activity, South Korea’s military fired warning shots and scrambled warplanes and attack helicopters. However, there has been no confirmation if any of the North Korean drones were shot down.
“We have a plan to create a military drone unit tasked with monitoring key military facilities in North Korea. But we’ll advance the establishment of the drone unit as soon as possible because of yesterday’s incident,” President Yoon Suk Yeol said during a regular Cabinet Council meeting. “We’ll also introduce state-of-the art stealth drones and bolster our surveillance capability.”
He said South Korea’s military needs more intensive readiness and exercises to cope with threats posed by North Korean drones. President Yoon said South Korea’s military has conducted little such training since 2017. In an apparent effort to blame the alleged lax air defence system on former South Korean President Moon’s engagement policy toward North Korea, Yoon said, “I think our people must have seen well how dangerous a North Korea policy relying on the North’s good faiths and (peace) agreements would be.”
On Monday, South Korea also sent its own surveillance assets, apparently unmanned drones, across the border against the North Korean drone flights. The country’s officials said that North Korea had launched two short-range ballistic missiles, extending its record testing activities this year.