North Korean drone incursion ‘unacceptable,’ Yoon says

Seoul, 29 says (EFE).- South Korea’s president on Thursday described the infiltration of five North Korean drones into national airspace as “unacceptable” and stressed the need to improve military preparation to counteract further incidents.

Yoon Suk-yeol was speaking during a visit to the Agency for Defense Development in the city of Daejeon, 140 kilometers south of Seoul, during which he checked on weapons development, including surveillance and reconnaissance interception capabilities.

“North Korea’s violation of our airspace by drones was a completely unacceptable incident. We must make them realize that provocations come with harsh consequences,” Yoon said, according to a statement issued by the presidential office.

“Our military must become a powerful military that instills unapproachable fear in our enemy and firm confidence in our people,” he said. “In order to gain peace, we must make overwhelmingly superior war preparations. We must realize clearly that with disguised peace, not only can we not defend our security, but its foundation will collapse.”

On Monday five North Korean drones crossed the inter-Korean border and one of them even flew over northern Seoul before returning to the North.

The South deployed planes and helicopters to track and shoot down the other four around Ganghwa Island, off the western maritime border, but eventually lost track of them.

Yoon also spoke Thursday of firm retaliation against “acts violating our freedom” and said that this is the only way to dissuade the North from carrying out more actions like this.

“Whether our opponent has nuclear weapons or whatever weapon of mass destruction, we must send a clear message to people who habitually carry out provocations, and we must never fear them or hesitate,” he said.

The South Korean military has apologized for the failure of the operation to neutralize the drones and has stressed the difficulty of shooting down UAVs with wingspans of less than 3 meters wide and the risk of harming the civilian population with existing resources.

Following the incident, Yoon and the military pledged to strengthen resources to detect and shoot down unmanned aircraft entering national airspace, including deploying new systems using lasers.

This latest incident comes as tension is at an all-time high on the peninsula, where Pyongyang has carried out a record number of weapons tests this year, and Seoul and Washington have resumed major military maneuvers and the temporary deployment of US strategic assets. EFE


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