Parliamentary defense committee lawmakers gathered Wednesday to hear what measures the defense ministry has drawn up to counter the threat of North Korean's unmanned aerial vehicles.
"We are worried that the drones may have attack capabilities, that they may even be loaded with nuclear warheads. What measures have you prepared?
"The suspected North Korean drones do not have the ability to strike targets. They can't be used for acts of terror. But we will quickly reinforce our defenses to better detect and defuse any enemy assets."
Part of the plans defense chief Kim Kwan-jin laid out include buying advanced low-altitude surveillance radars and anti-aircraft guns.
The government is also mulling over providing financial rewards to anyone who reports spotting a drone.
But lawmakers also wanted to know why the defense ministry wasn't prepared for an infiltration of small-sized drones in the first place.
"Small North Korean drones have been flying around the front borderlines since 7 or 8 years ago. Don't you think we've neglected this fact?
"We've been preparing for drone threats since the early 1990s, but we had prepared for small drones that are more than five meters in length. We hadn't received reports of drones smaller than two meters."
During the meeting, lawmakers urged the defense ministry to not just rely on the purchase of low-altitude surveillance radars from Israel, but to also launch a colossal revamp of the country's air defense system.
"As for the North Korean threat of a fourth nuclear test, defense ministry officials said they were monitoring developments at the North's Punggye-ri nuclear site, and would work with the UN to impose harsher sanctions in the event a test is carried out.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News."
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