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South Korea develops new maritime surveillance radar for ships, aircraft

By
Elizabeth Shim
South Korea plans to deploy the new Marine Surveillance Radar-II along its coast. Image courtesy of Republic of Korea Defense Acquisition Program Administration
South Korea plans to deploy the new Marine Surveillance Radar-II along its coast. Image courtesy of Republic of Korea Defense Acquisition Program Administration

Oct. 30 (UPI) -- South Korea has developed new maritime surveillance radar designed to monitor the country's coasts and seas.

The new radar is being revealed months after at least one North Korean fishing vessel sailed into South Korean waters undetected, prompting domestic criticism of Seoul's lax surveillance of the seas.

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The new radar, Marine Surveillance Radar-II, was "successfully developed" in September, Seoul's Defense Acquisition Program Administration said, according to local paper Kukmin Ilbo on Wednesday.

The radar can be deployed to the coast or outlying islands in order to monitor vessels, including hovercraft and high-speed boats, DAPA said.

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The South Korean agency also said the radar can detect aircraft flying at low altitudes, and its data will be shared through the Korean Naval Tactical Data System. The radar can also be linked to guided-weapons systems that can be directed at targets for attack, the report says.

The radar was developed at a cost of about $27 million, with the participation of LIG Nex 1, a defense company in Korea.

The radar was not built to identify smaller objects like wooden fishing boats, however, according to the Kukmin.

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South Korea is heightening surveillance while investing in infrastructure for housing North Koreans who wander into the South's side.

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News 1 reported Wednesday Seoul is planning to build a new repatriation facility where North Koreans are held before they are processed.

North Korean fishermen have been found at sea and along South Korean coasts in increasing frequency in 2019. Some fishermen request South Korean asylum, but others have expressed a desire to return home.

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South Korea is setting aside about $340,000 to build the two-story facility, according to the report.

North Korea recently turned down working-level talks with the South.

Pyongyang also did not send condolences to President Moon Jae-in on the occasion of the death of Moon's mother Kang Han-ok, Yonhap reported Wednesday.

Seoul's unification ministry also said it has "no plans" to inform Pyongyang of Kang's death, according to the report.

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