News   /   Koreas

South Korea mulling purchase of Israeli drone detection system: Report

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this file photo dated June 21, 2017, a North Korean drone is displayed at the South Korean Defense Ministry in Seoul after it was discovered in Inje, Gangwon Province.

South Korea’s military is considering purchasing an Israeli drone detection system as part of efforts to bolster capabilities to detect small North Korean drones, a media report says.

A defense source told the South Korean Yonhap News Agency on Sunday that the ‘Sky Spotter’ can track drones, kites and other threats that legacy radar systems may not be able to detect.

According to Yonhap, the system uses a network of sensitive optical sensors which can detect small targets or aircraft using radar countermeasures. It also uses artificial intelligence (AI) to separate, classify and identify objects in order to avoid false alarms.

The Korean military reportedly plans to decide whether to formally order the purchase of the system after a review of its effectiveness in the coming weeks.

South Korean defense authorities have come under fierce criticism for failure to counter penetration of five North Korean drones into South Korea’s airspace late last month. On Thursday, South Korea's military said a North Korean drone had entered the no-fly zone over the presidential office in Seoul during a rare incursion in December. They said the drone was among the five unmanned aerial vehicles that Seoul claimed the North had sent across the Military Demarcation Line separating the two Koreas on December 26. The purported incursion at the time prompted the South's military to scramble a number of jets and attack helicopters and fire warning shots to repel the aerial intruders.

It also triggered criticism in South Korea of the country's air defenses and prompted President Yoon Suk-yeol to chide the military, particularly its failure to shoot or bring down the drones while they flew over the South for hours.

President Yoon has now threatened to pull out of a 2018 non-hostility pact signed with Pyongyang over purported drone incursions if North Korea was to violate the South's airspace again.

The reported interest in the Israeli system also comes just weeks after a new free-trade agreement between Seoul and Tel Aviv regime came into force. Both sides are close allies of the United States, a source of hostilities and tensions on the troubled Korean Peninsula.

North Korea has never recognized Israel. Senior North Korean officials have frequently criticized Israel over its occupation of Palestine.

In an exchange of harsh words in 2017, North Korea accused Israel of being the “only illegal possessor” of nukes and threat to peace in West Asia, and threatened Tel Aviv with a “thousand-fold punishment” after the regime dared to hurt the dignity of its supreme leadership.

Pyongyang has time and again called Israel a “culprit of crimes against humanity” and an “occupier” which seeks to dominate the region and oppress Palestinians.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un recently called for the "exponential" increase of the nation's nuclear force during a recent plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party.

Kim reiterated the need to push ahead with the country's nuclear and missile development program, describing it as a deterrent tool to defend the nation against its enemies.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku