Over the decades since the peninsula was divided, dozens of North Korean soldiers have fled to the South through the zone which extends for two km either side of the actual border.
A drone, likely from North Korea, is suspected of having taken photographs of the advanced United States anti-missile system deployed in South Korea, the South Korean military said on Tuesday. Both South Korea and the U.S. agreed that the system’s only aim is to defend against potential North Korean missile attacks.
Pyongyang operates over 300 drones for military purposes and if the origin of the new device is confirmed, it would be a demonstration of North’s progress in espionage.
Last month, a top American military commander in Seoul said the deployment of THAAD in South Korea is seen as a critical part of efforts to lessen North Korea’s leverage from asymmetric weapons. Tensions have run particularly high between the rivals as North Korea has ramped up the pace of its ballistic missiles tests and refuses to disavow the possibility of a sixth nuclear weapons test, defying sanctions by the U.N. Security Council and threats of military action by the USA, which backs South Korea and regional ally Japan.
President Moon Jae-in meets with Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino at the Blue House in Seoul, June 12.
The first elements of THAAD was deployed in March after North Korea fired a salvo of four extended-range Scud missiles into the East Sea/Sea of Japan during a military drill. Preparations for the rallies often begin months in advance and are usually held on an important anniversary of the party or Kim Jong Un’s family. China also says the system does nothing to deter North Korea.
“North Korea’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them has increased in pace and scope”, Mattis said yesterday.
Moon’s announcement stands in stark contrast to his administration’s decision to suspend further deployment of more units of the controversial Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) while an “environmental assessment” is conducted.
“We must induce North Korea to change its attitude and ultimately we must find a way to fundamentally resolve North Korea’s nuclear and missile threat and maintain peace”, he said.
Staying true to his reputation as a man of the people, the president waved to onlookers and chatted with South Korean and US soldiers before going into the White House, as the USFK headquarters is known.
Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff reportedly said that they found hundreds of photos of South Korea in the memory chip, adding that authorities are trying to find where the drone came from.
Pyongyang has test fired five missiles since Moon assumed office May 10.
North Korea boycotted the 1986 Asian Games and the 1988 Seoul Olympics, both held in Seoul, but it has since attended other major worldwide sports events held in the South.