Tit for tat on the Korean peninsula

Last updated 18:42 01/04/2014

Two Koreas exchange fire

North Korean 'provocations' must stop

Related Links

Two Koreas exchange fire South Korean-US joint military drill

Relevant offers

Asia

Hunt for ET begins as China's largest radio telescope starts operating Strong Magnitude 6.3 quake hits Philippines, and another hits Romania Lost toddler survives three nights in Siberian wilderness alone Chinese teen starves mother to death in fury at brutal internet addiction boot camp 6.4 magnitude earthquake hits southeast of Tokyo Dating in India: The 'wrong man' can mean death Seven Russian firefighters feared dead after battling huge Moscow warehouse blaze Eight-kilometre section of Great Wall of China marred in name of restoration Watch: Truck of frozen fish in China bursts into flames China's Tiangong 1 space station will fall to Earth - somewhere - in 2017

An unmanned drone crashed on a South Korean island near a disputed maritime border with North Korea, a South Korean defence ministry official said on Tuesday, triggering an investigation into whether the aircraft was from the North.

The drone fell on Baengnyeong island on Monday (local time), when North Korea fired hundreds of artillery rounds in seas close to a disputed maritime line.

That triggered a similar show of strength from South Korea in response.

The South Korean military was trying to verify where the drone had come from and what its purpose might have been, and was also looking into any possible link to North Korea’s espionage operations, the military official said.

The official, who asked not to be identified, did not give any further details.

North Korea fired more than 100 artillery rounds into South Korean waters as part of a drill on Monday (local time), prompting the South to fire back.

The exercise appeared to be more sabre-rattling from Pyongyang rather than the start of a military standoff.

Yonhap News Agency, quoting an unidentified South Korean government official, reported that the drone was 2-3 metres long and comprised a Japanese engine and Chinese parts, as well as a small camera.

Yonhap also said the drone was similar to another found in a border city late last month.

North Korea released TV footage last year of practice drones that had been modified to crash into pre-determined targets but it is not believed to operate drones capable of air strikes or long-range surveillance flights.

Small, commercially available remote-controlled aircraft can be modified to carry video cameras and other surveillance equipment. 

The two Koreas last night fired hundreds of artillery shells into each other's waters, after Pyongyang's sudden announcement that it would conduct live-fire drills in seven areas north of the disputed maritime boundary.

North Korea ripped through 500 rounds of artillery shells over more than three hours, about 100 of which fell south of the sea boundary, officials said. South Korea responded with 300 shells of its own.

There's been a recent increase in threatening rhetoric from Pyongyang and a series of North Korean rocket and ballistic missile launches considered acts of protest against annual military exercises by Seoul and Washington.

The North calls the South Korea-US drills a rehearsal for invasion; the allies say they're routine and defensive.

In Washington, White House spokesman Jonathan Lalley called North Korea's actions "dangerous and provocative" and said they would further aggravate tensions in the region.

- Agencies

Ad Feedback
Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content