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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pyongyang Jams S Korea's GPS Signals Over 2,000 Times

Sputnik News

09:27 30.06.2016(updated 09:29 30.06.2016)

Trying to sabotage regular US-South Korea joint military drills, North Korea transmitted over 2,000 jamming signals against its southern neighbor in the last six years, threatening to down hundreds of passenger airplanes, a South Korean MP revealed Wednesday.

A total of 2,143 jamming attacks on South Korea have been launched from the territory of the DPRK since 2010, Minjoo Party member Jun Hyeon-hee said, as quoted by JoongAng Ilbo newspaper. The jamming signals were sent from sites in five North Korean provinces, including Haeju, Yonan, Pyonggang, Kumgang and Kaesong.

While North Korea's jamming attacks haven't led to any major incidents to date, four South Korean planes in 2012 failed to land on the first pass as a result of navigation system issues, according to the country's Ministry of Transportation information.

"[There have]not yet been an accident involving a commercial airliner, but because of GPS interference there have been planes that had to reattempt [landings]," Jun said to reporters.

The GPS jamming attacks on South Korea coincide with military exercises in the country, ordinarily co-participated by the US military.

The first time the jamming was detected by the South Koreans was during the Ulchi Focus war games in 2010. Then, attacks befell the US-led Key Resolve drills in 2011 and Washington-Seoul joint air force training in 2012. The latest jamming instances occurred between March 31 and April 6, 2016. At the time, annual large scale-drills involving 15,000 American and 300,000 South Korean troops took place in the vicinity of the North Korean border.

During the drills over a hundred cases of jamming were reported, Yonhap News Agency wrote, adding that some 962 planes and 700 fishing boats experienced troubles with their GPS systems.

South Korean authorities claimed that the Inertial Navigation System (INS) used in all the country's aircraft prevented critical disruptions of equipment and subsequent incidents.

Later the Seoul the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) wrote a letter to Pyongyang warning it of its jamming activities as potentially dangerous to commercial flights. South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that such a reaction from ICAO was "much stronger" than that in previous years.

To address the potential jamming threats coming from Pyongyang Jun called for a "proactive response system" in South Korea.


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