Seoul army apologizes for not shooting down North Korean drones

SEOUL: South Korean military apologized Tuesday for not killing five people North Korean drones that crossed their common border after being widely criticized for their lack of preparation.
Monday’s incursion prompted Seoul to fire warning shots and deploy fighter jets and attack helicopters to bring down the drones, one of which flew near the capital.
“Yesterday, five enemy drones invaded South Korean airspace, and our military detected and tracked them, but we apologize that we cannot shoot them down,” the Joint Chiefs of Staff said (JCS) said in a statement.
All the drones seemed to have returned to the North despite a tracking operation that lasted five hours.
The JCS acknowledged that while the military can counter “attack drones that pose a real threat”, there is a limit to their ability to detect and strike smaller spy drones.
“As a result, the army’s lack of preparedness has caused a lot of public concern,” he said.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said during a Cabinet at Tuesday’s meeting, the incident showed that the army’s readiness was “greatly lacking”.
Yoon ordered an acceleration of a plan to launch a drone unit to carry out surveillance and reconnaissance operations on North Koreakey military installations. The plan includes the introduction of advanced stealth drones.
The incursion was the first time in years that North Korean drones entered southern airspace and closely followed a recent spate of anti-sanctions weapons testing by Pyongyang.


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