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N. Korean drone took 193 photos of presidential office, Seoul city

N. Korean drone took 193 photos of presidential office, Seoul city

Posted April. 05, 2014 05:02,   


North Korea’s unmanned aerial vehicle, which was discovered in Paju City, Gyeonggi Province on March 24, is confirmed to have crashed due to engine failure after taking 193 photos while flying over the skies of northern Gyeonggi and Seoul, including the presidential office. Another UAV, which crashed on Baengnyeong Island in the Yellow Sea on Monday, is found to have crashed due to fuel shortage from skies over the island, after flying zigzag over Socheong and Daecheong islands.

Seoul’s Defense Ministry Spokesman Kim Min-seok told a briefing on Thursday, “If and when the incident is clearly verified to have been committed by North Korea, an official announcement will be made at the government level to define it as illegal violation of territorial skies.” Kim went on to say, “Analysis of fingerprint from the drone has confirmed that the fingerprint does not belong to a person in South Korea,” adding, “It has been concluded that the drone crashed due to engine failure during flight.”

“A joint survey by the military and relevant authorities, including the National Intelligence Service, found that the drone found in Paju comes with a 0.9GHz wireless transmitter and receiver,” Kim said. “This is a device that is used to control the UAV or transmit GPS signals, and has been confirmed not to be a device designed to transmit pictures.”

The military authority also announced the interim results of its investigation into the drone that crashed on Baengnyeong Island as well. According to the military, the body of the drone was created in a “form core” format, a stacked-up mass of fiber glass in hexagonal structures. The drone is equipped with a four-cylinder gasoline engine, a communication device for short-distance remote control, and two GPS antennas. The military authority said the camera mounted on the drone has been confirmed to be a DSLR camera (model name D800 with 36.3 million megapixels) from Nikon of Japan.

A military source said, “It is believed that the drone flew in from north at the speeds of 100 to 120 km per hour at an altitude of 1.4 km, and took photos while flying zigzag as if scanning Daecheong and Socheong islands, until it crashed over Baengnyeong Island by failing to open its parachute due to fuel shortage.” The source added, “The North is believed to have failed to calculate the amount of fuel based on the flying distance.”

The military has retrieved a memory card from the camera in the drone, and is closely analyzing flying routes and the situation of its photo-taking operation by the hour.

Another military source said, “An Air Force radar detected images of an unidentified flying object taking off from Onchon Airport in South Hwanghae Province in the North at daytime Sunday, and moving southward toward Five Islands in the Yellow Sea,” adding, “Judging that chances are high the drone found on Baengnyeong Island highly likely took off from this airport, we are conducting in-depth analysis.”