Health Care

Suspected N.Korea drone filmed missile defence site: Seoul

Suspected N.Korea drone filmed missile defence site: Seoul

A possible North Korean drone took numerous photos of a new us missile defense site located in South Korea before crashing near the demilitarized zone between the two countries, the Associated Press reported Tuesday. According to a South Korean foreign ministry official, specific topics such as THAAD may not be on the official agenda for the summit considering it will be the first face-to-face meeting between Presidents Moon Jae-in and Donald Trump.

"I believe that the security situation on the Korean Peninsula is more dire than ever before", he said, pointing to a series of missile tests by North Korea this year, including five since he took office on May 10.

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in suggested on Monday that countries in Northeast Asia could form a bloc - including isolated North Korea - to co-host the 2030 FIFA World Cup, his presidential office said.

Ten of the photos were of US missile launchers and a radar system installed in the southeastern town of Seongju earlier this year, while the rest were mostly of residential areas, agricultural fields and other less-sensitive areas in South Korea, the official said.

The Pentagon has deployed the THAAD to South Korea in effort to assuage fears of USA allies in the region as North Korea has continually tested mid- to long-range missiles that could soon be mounted with a nuclear weapon.

South Korean military officials estimate that North Korea possesses around 300 military drones.

Pyongyang also urged Seoul to dismantle the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system and get rid of pro-US forces in the new government.

After a joint investigation with United States experts, Seoul said they were flown from North Korea and had been pre-programmed to fly over South Korean military installations.

Ties between the two nations have lately become increasingly strained over the North's threats of missile attacks on its southern neighbour.

The neighbours are technically at war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce and not a peace treaty.

South Korea has repeatedly accused the North of flying suspected spy drones across the tense border. There have also been concerns that North Korea is developing a missile that could hit the USA mainland. North Korea has accused the USA of escalating tensions with its actions and refers to its missile launches as measures to safeguard its country.

Shannon also confirmed North Korea's release of American university student Otto Warmbier who had been detained in the country for 17 months.

He said the meeting focused on North Korea's recent missile launches.

Cho spent much of his career at the Unification Ministry, which handles North Korea ties, and was involved in preparing a 2007 summit between leaders of the two Koreas.


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