A senior South Korean official says a surveillance drone, likely operated by North Korea, has flown over the presidential palace in Seoul.
South Korean authorities examined the wreckage of a crashed drone that was found on Baengnyeong Island near the disputed waters of the Yellow Sea.
The aircraft was one of the two suspected North Korean drones that crashed late last month in South Korean territory.
Seoul says the unmanned aircraft was equipped with a basic camera containing hundreds of aerial photographs, including some taken from directly above the presidential Blue House.
South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman, Kim Min-seok, said on Thursday that the drone did not have the capability to transmit the images back to North Korea.
“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,” Kim stated.
However, intelligence and military experts say Pyongyang can likely produce much more sophisticated drones without much difficulty.
The developments come as South Korea and the United States are currently conducting annual joint military drills.
Tensions have recently been on the rise between the two Koreas as Pyongyang accuses its southern neighbor and Washington of “rehearsing for an invasion.”
North Korea says it will take additional measures to demonstrate its might as long as threats from the US persist.
Last year’s maneuvers fuelled tensions, with Pyongyang threatening a pre-emptive nuclear strike and US stealth bombers flying over the peninsula.
Rail lines and other contacts between the two sides were first severed during the 1950-53 Korean War. No peace deal has been signed since then, meaning that Pyongyang and Seoul remain technically at war.
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