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North Korea drones keep crossing into South's airspace

By Elizabeth Shim
North Korea drones keep crossing into South's airspace
A South Korean soldier stands guard in a conference room in the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission Conference Building at the joint security area of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone in Paju, South Korea. Seoul is looking out for any escalation of tensions across the Military Demarcation Line as North Korea sends more drones across the border. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

SEOUL, March 29 (UPI) -- North Korean drones continue to infiltrate South Korean airspace, and they're not easy to take down, a Seoul military official said.

North Korea's military has been sending drones across central and western regions of the heavily fortified demilitarized zone, South Korean news service News 1 reported.

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Seoul is looking out for any escalation of tensions across the Military Demarcation Line that bisects the DMZ due to intruding North Korea drones.

An unnamed military official told South Korea press that in recent weeks North Korean drones are constantly being detected on radar, and mostly on the central and western fronts, often crossing the MDL that divides the South's side of the DMZ.

In January, North Korea flew a drone across the DMZ, prompting South Korean soldiers to fire warning shots at the intruding aircraft.

The drone reportedly turned back, after the warning shots were fired. Seoul has said the North Korean drones are mapping out South Korean troop positions.

North Korean drones trespassed into the South's side of the DMZ several times in recent years, and it's believed Pyongyang's reconnaissance administration is operating drones that are modified versions of China's UV10 drones, manufactured by Beijing-based Microfly Engineering Technology.

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South Korean newspaper Munhwa Ilbo reported North Korea also deploys a Chinese drone, the D-4.

South Korea's Defense Ministry spokesman Moon Sang-kyun said the North's drone activities are being monitored, adding North Korea retains a variety of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Moon said the South has the capacity to strike intruding drones with an anti-aircraft weapon system.

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