Cheong Wa Dae Caught Off Guard by N.Korean Drone

The presidential office is apparently stunned following the discovery that a surveillance drone believed to be North Korean snapped photos of it before it crashed into a mountain in Paju, Gyeonggi Province on March 24.

A Cheong Wa Dae official said, "We have been infiltrated by North Korea in a totally unexpected way."

The aircraft was equipped with a Japanese-made Canon camera that took some 100 photos, including aerial shots of Cheong Wa Dae.

Cheong Wa Dae officials were unaware of the drone until it was reported to police by a hiker. This raises serious concerns over the government's lax security since the incident shows that the closed airspace above Cheong Wa Dae is vulnerable to infiltration.

One security expert said, "If a bomb had been mounted on the aircraft instead of a camera, a terror attack on the presidential compound could have been possible. This is an extremely serious matter."

Cheong Wa Dae has reportedly scrambled to come up with response measures in conjunction with the presidential security team, National Security Office, Defense Ministry and Joint Chiefs of Staff. It is considering purchasing anti-aircraft weapons and radar capable of detecting low-flying aircraft. Current technology can only detect North Korean helicopters and gliders.

englishnews@chosun.com / Apr. 03, 2014 12:45 KST