North Korea

Crashed drone found in South Korea took photos of presidential palace in Seoul

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 April, 2014, 10:53pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 April, 2014, 10:54pm

A drone that crashed in South Korea on Monday had flown over the presidential palace in Seoul and taken hundreds of photos, but was not capable of carrying a bomb, officials said yesterday.

The drone was the first of two unmanned aircraft found in the space of a week.

The second drone was found soon after a three-hour artillery barrage between North and South Korea near a disputed maritime border.

The South's military has been criticised for failing to spot or stop the unidentified aircraft that entered its airspace and flew over its capital amid a tense stand-off with the North.

Nearly 200 aerial photographs were recovered from a camera carried by the drone, including some taken directly above the presidential Blue House, but the aircraft had no equipment to transmit the images, defence ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said.

When asked if it could carry a bomb, he said: "It is of primitive standard, and it would not have been easy to use it in an act of terror, or more precisely, it would not have been possible."

South Korea believes the drone was launched by North Korea because it flew in from the north and over Seoul before turning back, with enough fuel left when it crashed to carry it back to North Korea.