North Korean Drone Spied on US THAAD Missile Defense Site Before Crashing

South Korean officials say anti-drone defense systems that could shield population centers against drone-related biochemical and bomb attacks are only deployed in core areas of Seoul.

The photos, taken by the drone camera, included those of two mobile launchers and the radar of the US missile shield that were installed on April 26.

About 10 of them were aerial shots of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system - more than 100 miles away from the border - which is created to shoot North Korea's ballistic missiles down before they can do damage, the official said.

"We will come up with measures to deal with North Korean drones", an official at South Korea's Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Seoul estimates that Pyongyang operates over 300 drones for military purposes and that, if the origin of the new device is confirmed, it would be a demonstration of North Korea's progress in espionage and use of military technology. China also opposes the deployment because it worries THAAD's powerful radar system can peer into its own territory. They found that it had taken hundreds of photos, including ten of the defense system.

North Korea has long boasted of its drone fleet, showcasing reconnaissance and attack drones modeled after similar USA aircraft during parades in 2012 and 2013. Analysts have predicted that at its current pace, North Korea will test another 13 to 14 missiles by the end of the year at a rate of one test every two weeks.

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KSM received permission to contact North Korea on May 26, marking the first time in sixteen months that a private organization has received such approval.

The first elements of THAAD was deployed in March after North Korea fired a salvo of four extended-range Scud missiles into the East Sea/Sea of Japan during a military drill. "Mr. Moon finds himself pincered between two rival powers, China and the United States, while facing an existential threat from the dictator next door", the newspaper said in an editorial titled "South Korea, Caught Between Superpowers" that ran on June 12.

In a speech marking South Korea's Memorial Day last Tuesday, President Moon honored national heroes and veterans, including those who fought in the Vietnam War. "The summit will provide a momentum to take the Korea-U.S. relations to the next level", said Park.

The two leaders will also discuss ways to further strengthen the "ironclad U.S. -ROK alliance", advance cooperation on economic and global issues, the statement added. The regime therefore seems to be testing the waters with regards to the new South Korean government on North Korea policy.

A jointly hosted tournament "could help create peace between the South and North and in the northeast region", Moon said, according to a spokesman.

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