Seoul to deploy laser weapons to target N.Korean drones

Seoul: South Korea is set to deploy new laser weapons with the aim of shooting down North Korean drones, defence officials said on Friday.

The South Korean government wants to strengthen its defence system on suspicions that North Korea has sent several unmanned aerial vehicles near the border areas in recent years, in what Seoul considers to be reconnaissance missions, Efe news reported.

Pyongyang has denied being the owner of the devices, but Seoul insists that its neighbouring country is building larger drones capable of being operated by remote control, the officials said.

The South Korean government estimates that North Korea has about 300 drones and a dozen flying machines capable of carrying out attacks with weapons which could be used as remote-controlled missiles, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Drones are a source of concern for South Korea, as their relatively small size and ability to fly low make them difficult to pick up by radars, and even when they are detected, it is difficult to shoot them down with conventional anti-aircraft weapons.

Since 2014, South Korea has found the remains of several of these devices in the vicinity of the border, one of such devices came to fly and photograph the South Korean presidential residence undetected.

In January 2016, a week after Pyongyang held its fourth nuclear test, the South Korean Army responded with warning shots at a North Korean drone that infiltrated briefly in its territory.

}