North Korea drone was made with U.S. parts, Seoul says

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |  June 21, 2017 at 2:29 PM
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June 21 (UPI) -- A drone identified as North Korean by South Korea's military was built using products manufactured in six countries, Seoul said.

South Korea's defense ministry also told reporters on Wednesday the military plans to deploy additional anti-aircraft weapons to strengthen defenses against future North Korea drone incursions, local news service News 1 reported.

Last week the military had said the drone had flown more than 160 miles south of the demilitarized zone to capture images of the U.S. THAAD battery in Seongju, where it remains operational on a former golf course.

During a press briefing on Wednesday, the defense ministry said the drone shows evidence of improved North Korean technology, with many parts sourced from products made in the United States, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Switzerland and the Czech Republic, Yonhap reported.

The Japan-made camera was a digital Sony A7R, and not a built-in Nikon D800 DSR camera as previously claimed.

The GPS on the drone was of U.S. origin, and the motor was of South Korean make, the military said.

Seoul is taking the drone incursion seriously, and plans are underway to deploy more anti-aircraft weapons, including the Biho self-propelled anti-aircraft weapon for tracking and striking targets, News 1 reported.

The Biho system is a highly mobile short-range anti-aircraft gun that can be operated by up to three crew members, and shoot about 600 pieces of ammunition per minute when launched.

The North Korea drone is also inviting concern about the possibility Pyongyang could use the vehicle to carry biochemical weapons across the border, according to News 1.

If the camera on the drone is removed, chemical weapons could be mounted on the drone in its place, a military official said.

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