North Korea’s Crappy Drones Keep Crashing in South Korea

South Koreans: You could just use Google Earth, you know.

It's not a toy; it's a North Korean military drone.
National Journal
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Alex Brown
April 3, 2014, 7:28 a.m.

North Korea’s latest ef­fort to ant­ag­on­ize its south­ern neigh­bor looks like something from a failed sci­ence-fair ex­per­i­ment.

Kim Jong Un’s coun­try is send­ing small drones to spy on South Korea. One prob­lem: They’re all crash­ing be­fore they make it home with their in­tel­li­gence.

Judging by the re­ac­tion of South Korean ex­perts, the drones might as well be powered with a rub­ber band and armed with a Po­lar­oid. “It looks like something I made with my friends in high school,” Pusan Na­tion­al Uni­versity’s Robert Kelly told Voice of Amer­ica.

The latest North Korean drone ac­tu­ally man­aged to fly over South Korea’s pres­id­en­tial palace — known as the Blue House — be­fore crash­ing near the bor­der. Kelly was still not im­pressed. “You can see the Blue House on Google Earth, and you can sort of drive by it,” he said. “It’s not too hard to find. I’m not really con­vinced this is a game changer.”

Ad­ded De­fense Min­is­ter Kim Min-seok: “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.”

The 2-meter drone that crashed near the bor­der snapped about 200 pho­tos, but none were trans­mit­ted back to North Korea. Giv­en the re­cent ar­til­lery fire between the two coun­tries, some are tak­ing the drone at­tempts as a fur­ther sign of North Korean hos­til­ity. But for now, they won’t be yield­ing any tac­tic­al ad­vant­age.


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