Amid escalating tensions with North Korea, the armed forces of South Korea on Thursday held military exercises.
The military exercises come after Seoul failed to detect North Korean drones crossing into the Southern side of the border triggering shutdown of two major airports and later the scrambling of jets and other armories.
“The South Korean military conducted drills Thursday to strengthen its defense against potential drone-based provocations by North Korea,” unnamed Seoul officials told Yonhap News Agency.
Seoul has acknowledged “limits in detecting and striking small surveillance drones” as the South Korean military publicly apologized over the major security issue.
The drills were “expected to focus on mobilizing Army choppers, Air Force aircraft and detection devices for an integrated operation based on scenarios of border infiltration by the North’s unmanned aerial vehicles.”
The country’s Defense Ministry is also mulling anti-drone projects and deployment of a laser weapons system over the next five years with a cost of around $441 million.
North Korea has also vowed to bolster its “self-reliant defense capability” in the coming year, the country’s top leader told the ruling Workers’ Party early this week.
Pyongyang’s thrust on defending its territorial sovereignty comes amid rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula over the past several weeks as the US and South Korea hold joint military drills while North Korea fired dozens of projectiles and missiles.