Updated May. 09, 2014 05:07
It has been confirmed that all the three drones found crashed near the inter-Korean border in March and April were all sent from North Korea. South Korea`s defense ministry came to the conclusion after analyzing flight plans and the flight records stored in the central processing units and memory chips on the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Seoul should sternly respond to the clear military provocation that violated the Armistice Agreement. South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin and national security adviser Kim Jang-soo should be held responsible for their failure to prevent the North`s unprecedented infiltration over the presidential office.
An investigation team of 25 South Korean and U.S. experts that the South Korean military set up on April 14 focused on analyzing the global positioning system information stored on the Chinese-made memory chips on the UAVs. According to the analysis, the UAV discovered in Paju, Gyeonggi Province was programmed to depart from and return to an area five kilometers northwest of the North Korean border city of Kaesong; the second drone found on Baengnyeong Island was sent from and scheduled to return to a place 27 kilometers southeast of Haeju, South Hwanghae Province; and the third drone found near Samcheok, Gangwon Province was from a place 17 kilometers east of Pyonggang in the North Korean side of the province. The unmanned aircrafts conducted reconnaissance on the South`s key military installation before crashing on their back to the North.
However, chances are that the North will continue to deny its responsibility, as it did before. We should not let some people in our society repeat their denial of the North`s responsibility and raising of reckless suspicions after the 2010 sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan. Jung Chung-rae, a lawmaker of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy, who claimed that it was highly unlikely that the UAVs were from North Korea, now says that the defense minister should be fired. It is a mockery of the public.
There is a very good chance the North Korean drones were modified from the SKY-09P aircrafts made by a Chinese company given their specifications, which are almost identical. While the United Nations Security Council`s resolutions ban the trading with North Korea of items that can be used as weapons but does not cover UAVs, leaving a hole in the sanctions on the North. Taking the case to the UN Security Council or to the International Civil Aviation Organization would not be practical, as many powers around the world are already using UAVs for military purposes. Measures need to be taken to make the North pay dear price for its provocation.
The South Korean military is trying to take measures to fill the holes in its air defense network by introducing an Israeli low-altitude radar system. What is also import is that the defense minister and the national security advisor take responsibility. True soldiers know when to advance and when to retreat.