South Korea’s President, Yoon Suk Yeol, called for a stronger air defense and high-tech stealth drones to better monitor North Korea on Tuesday, December 27, 2022.
The President made the statement a day after Seoul accused North Korea of flying five drones across the rivals’ tense border for the first time in five years. South Korea’s military fired warning shots and scrambled warplanes and helicopters in response but there has been no confirmation that any of the North Korean drones were shot down.
That has raised a serious question about South Korea’s air defense network at a time when tensions remain high over North Korea’s frequent run of missile tests this year.
The South Korean military has apologized for failing to shoot down the North Korean drones.
“We have a plan to create a military drone unit tasked with monitoring key military facilities in North Korea but we’ll advance the establishment of the drone unit as soon as possible because of yesterday’s incident. We’ll also introduce state-of-the art stealth drones and bolster our surveillance capability.”President Yoon Suk Yeol
President Yoon Suk Yeol divulged that South Korea’s military needs more intensive readiness and exercises to cope with threats posed by North Korean drones.
Yoon, a conservative who took office in May, said South Korea’s military has conducted little such training since 2017, when his liberal predecessor Moon Jae-in was inaugurated.
In an apparent effort to blame the alleged lax air defense system to Moon’s engagement policy toward North Korea, Yoon said, “I think our people must have seen well how dangerous a North Korea policy relying on the North’s good faiths and (peace) agreements would be.”
Moon or his allies did not respond to Yoon’s statement immediately.
Moon was credited with arranging now-dormant diplomacy on North Korea’s nuclear program, but also faced criticism that his appeasement policy allowed North Korea to buy time and boost its nuclear capability in the face of international sanctions.
On Monday, December 26, 2022, South Korea also sent its own surveillance assets, apparently unmanned drones, across the border as corresponding steps against the North Korean drone flights.
South Korea’s public confirmation of reconnaissance activities inside North Korea is highly unusual and likely reflects a resolve by Yoon to get tough on North Korean provocations.
It was the first time North Korean drones entered South Korean airspace since 2017. North Korea has hyped its drone program, and South Korean officials have previously said the North had about 300 drones.
Advanced drones are among modern weapons systems that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has vowed to procure, along with multi-warheads, underwater-launched nuclear missiles and a spy satellite.
Kim Jong Un Proposes Stronger Efforts To Overcome Hardships
Meanwhile, it has been revealed that North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un called for stronger effort to overcome hardships and challenges facing his country at the start of a key ruling Workers’ Party meeting.
Some experts claim that Kim will likely use the meeting to reaffirm his resolve to expand his nuclear arsenal and introduce high-tech weapons targeting the U.S. and South Korea while laying out projects to revive pandemic-battered public livelihoods.
In his opening comments, Kim compared hardships and challenges since a bigger party meeting in early 2021 to “the ten-year struggle of the revolution.”
However, Kim claimed North Korea has reported some successes “in the arduous course” and that his country’s power has “remarkably” increased in political, military, economic and cultural areas.
Kim reviewed the “splendid” achievement made this year and clarified “the strategic and tactical” tasks to achieve North Korean-style socialism.
The Workers’ Party meeting is expected to last several days, and Kim will probably address issues such as his arms buildup, relations with the United States and the economy in later sessions.