A suspected North Korean drone was found on a border island between North and South Korea after a series of dual competing military drills. The two countries fired around two hundred shells into empty waters Monday. The Associated Press reported that the tests were conducted as a way of showing dominance in a dispute over the countries' sea border. There were no injuries.
“An unmanned aerial vehicle from an unknown nation crashed on Baengnyeong Island at around 4 p.m. on March 31,” a South Korean army source told the Korea Joong Daily, “We collected the vehicle and are in the middle of a probe.”
"It is like a toy." Professor Kim Hyoung-joong of Korea University in Seoul told Reuters. But Hyoung-joong was quick to point out the use of such a device "for surveillance purposes". The professor added "it doesn't have to be a high-tech, top-notch military product like Predators or Global Hawk drones. This type of toy-like equipment can find a blind spot."
Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., an intelligence contractor, told NBC that "North Korea has had drones for a number of years now." When showed a picture of the drone he said it "looks like it has had a modified fuselage and been fitted with a camera – imagine a model airplane with a camera. It seems to have some of the characteristics of other North Korean drones we know about."
NBC also interviewed Paul Schulte, research fellow of London's Kings College, who agreed about the drone's origins: "The aircraft is so small that it looks as though it could not have flown from anywhere else [other than North Korea] - that is unless it is from South Korea and they haven't identified it, but that is less likely."
As far as China is concerned, it "opposes actions that undermine peace and stability of the Peninsula and urge all parties to keep calm, exercise restraint, be discreet in words and deeds, prevent the progressive escalation of the tension and jointly safeguard peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula," a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Monday. The United States put the blame North, as Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said: "North Koreans have, once again, engaged in [provocation], is dangerous and it -- and it needs to stop."
Image via ARIRANG NEWS, YouTube