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(LEAD) S. Korea believes mysterious drone is from N. Korea

2014/04/02 09:08

SEOUL, April 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea believes that a mysterious drone found on a border island earlier this week is from North Korea, an official said Wednesday, a finding which, if confirmed, would represent a serious hole in the country's air defense.

The small unmanned plane, which is about 1.83 meters long and 2.45 meters wide, was found on the island of Baengyeong on Monday when North Korea conducted a live-fire exercise where it fired about 500 of artillery rounds into waters around the western sea border with South Korea.

Presidential spokesman Min Kyung-wook said he checked with the presidential office of national security and was told that the office is looking into the case with the view that the drone came from North Korea, though a final result of the investigation has yet to come.

After the investigation is completed, the office will work together with the defense ministry and other related agencies to draw up measures to defend against such drones and other small aircraft that are hard to detect by radar, the spokesman said.

Newspaper reports said that a similar drone, which was found a week earlier in a field in the border region of Paju, had strong indications that it is from North Korea, including a Korean-language sign written in North Korean style on the back of its lithium-ion battery.

The aircraft, which was a little smaller than the one found on the island, was equipped with a high-resolution camera, known as DSLR, and took pictures of military installations and even the residential quarters of Seoul's presidential compound, according to the reports.

The case revealed serious problems with the air defense of the presidential office, they said.