South Korea's military has reportedly found a suspected North Korean spy drone within its borders. The drone was found on a mountain near South Korea's eastern border and came equipped with a camera, indicating that the drone may likely have been launched on a espionage mission.
The drone measuring 1.8 meters long and 2.4 meters wide was found on Friday (8 June), a day after Pyongyang tested a new kind of anti-ship missile, Yonhap news agency reported.
According to South Korean joint chiefs of staff (JCS), the drone's size and shape is similar to a North Korean drone that crashed into an island near the border in 2014. The same year, South Korea said that it had found three alleged North Korean drones in border towns. South Korea's JCS also said that it was conducting an analysis on the drone, which would take 10 days to complete.
"The drone found this time looks sloppy but slightly more slender than previous ones," a South Korean military official told Reuters.
North Korea possesses 300 drones of various kinds, including target and combat drones as well as reconnaissance drones, according to a UN report. The hermit kingdom is believed to be developing a new range of high-tech drones to boost its weapons arsenal.
Tensions between the two rival nations have been steadily escalating over the past year. Pyongyang has also faced severe criticisms from the US in the past few months, over its numerous missile tests.There have been recent speculations of the US military also having used advanced cyberweapons to dismantle Pyongyang's nuclear and missile systems.
With the discovery of the latest alleged spy drone, reports speculate about concerns surrounding South Korea's air defences at a time when the nation's military is embroiled in attempts to tamp down on the hermit kingdom's nuclear and missile programs.