Three days after the North launched drones into its territory for the first time in five years, South Korea conducted extensive military exercises to practice shooting down drones as a precaution against North Korean provocations.
The five North Korean drones seen south of the border on Monday were not shot down by South Korean jets or helicopters before they returned home or vanished from radars.
One of them went as far as Seoul’s northern region.
Many residents in the South experienced security anxieties as a result, and the military issued a rare public apology on Tuesday.
A total of 20 fighter jets, attack helicopters, and unmanned assets were used in the exercise on Thursday, along with land-based anti-air guns, drones that were used to simulate hostile drones, and drones.
According to military officials, it was the nation’s first significant anti-drone training since 2017, even though there was no live fire.
According to a statement from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the mobilized South Korean military assets practiced how to identify, track, and shoot them down during the drills near Seoul.
The drills were designed to simulate various scenarios of border infiltrations by small enemy drones.
Also on Thursday, Yoon Suk Yeol, the president of South Korea, reaffirmed his call for the country to strengthen its air defense and respond harshly to any provocations from North Korea.
Following a record number of missile tests this year, the North conducted drone flights to pressure the United States and its allies to make some concessions, like lifting sanctions, according to some experts.
“We must deliver a strong message to those who repeatedly engage in provocations, regardless of whether they possess nuclear weapons or another type of WMD. When Yoon visited a weapons development agency, he declared, “We must not be afraid of (their nukes), and we must not hesitate. We must prepare for a conflict we can easily win to achieve peace.
Yoon declared on Tuesday that his government would expedite the creation of a military drone unit and the introduction of sophisticated stealth drones.
State-run media in North Korea has not responded to its purported drone flights being announced by South Korea.
However, some analysts believe North Korea sent those drones to test the readiness of South Korea and the United States.
According to them, North Korea also probably thought drones may be a low-cost yet efficient way to raise security worries and create divisions inside South Korea.