UN Command Rebukes Both Koreas over Drone Intrusions

  • By Roh Suk-jo

    January 27, 2023 11:42

    UN Command has warned both Koreas that they violated the armistice by sending spy drones across the military demarcation line last month.
    The UNC's Military Armistice Commission published the findings of an investigation into the incident on Thursday. "The [North Korean] Army side committed a violation of the armistice when multiple North-side unmanned aerial systems entered [South Korea]-controlled airspace," it said.
    Although the South Korean military's attempt to "neutralize" the North Korean drones in South Korean airspace "was in compliance with the armistice rules of engagement," sending drones after them into North Korean airspace "constitutes a violation of the armistice."
    Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup (right) speaks at a session of the National Assembly's Defense Committee in Seoul on Thursday.
    On Dec. 26, five North Korean spy drones flew as far south as the presidential office in Seoul, and the South Korean military failed to shoot them down despite firing some at them from helicopters near the MDL. Instead it sent its own flotilla of drones into North Korean airspace.
    The Defense Ministry here protested against the UNC's findings, saying it sent the drones over the border "in self-defense."
    "Flying drones across the border was an act of self-defense in response to the North Korean intrusion into our airspace," the ministry insisted. "Such an act is not restricted by the armistice."
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