On Monday, December 26, South Korea announced the intrusion of five North Korean drones into its airspace. Four of them could not be traced.
The South Korean military was unable to intercept the drones. In connection with the invasion, light attack aircraft and attack helicopters were raised into the air, and warning shots followed. According to the agency Yonhap, one drone flew to the northern part of Seoul and returned back to the DPRK. Four other devices could not be traced. One of the planes sent to intercept them crashed. According to the agency, a South Korean light attack aircraft KA-1 crashed in the northeastern district, two of its pilots escaped safely. The plane crashed to the ground in Hyungseong County, about 140 kilometers east of Seoul, at 11:43 a.m., shortly after taking off from an air base in the nearby city of Wonju, according to the military.
Local media write that the military is having difficulty destroying drones, because. they change trajectory and altitude, and fly close to civilian areas. South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff staffer Lee Seung Oh says:
“This is a clear provocation by North Korea, which violated the airspace of South Korea. One of the drones flew in the northern part of the capital region, four more in the Ganghwa area. The military immediately responded in self-defense.”
The South Korean military assumes that the DPRK drones could be in the country’s airspace for at least 7 hours. South Korea’s Ministry of Transportation said it had temporarily suspended flights to Gimpo and Incheon International Airports on Monday, December 26, but did not specify the reason. According to airport operators, 20 flights to Gimpo and 10 flights to Incheon were delayed due to the suspension order.