SEOUL, Jan. 18 (Korea Bizwire) — Military and police personnel resumed a search Wednesday for a presumed civilian drone thought to have crashed after flying near a U.S. THAAD missile defense unit in a southern county the previous day, officials said.
The authorities are conducting the search in areas close to the base in Seongju, 217 kilometers south of Seoul, while police are investigating who sent the drone and for what purpose.
The Army said chances appear low that the drone was mobilized for espionage.
U.S. Forces Korea personnel are known to have first detected the drone flying toward the base at 12:54 p.m. Tuesday and used a jamming gun to bring it down, according to defense sources.
The military and police staff scoured areas in Seongju County and the nearby city of Gimcheon to find the drone, but the search ended fruitlessly and was halted after sunset Tuesday.
The Eighth Army under the USFK confirmed later that the allies’ security forces detected the unmanned aerial vehicle near the THAAD base and “swiftly acted to deny its entry.”
“We are currently working directly with our ROK partners to investigate the incident,” the Eighth Army said in response to a question by Yonhap News Agency. ROK stands for South Korea’s official name, the Republic of Korea.
The South Korean military has been striving to build counter-drone capabilities in the wake of North Korean drone infiltrations last month, which laid bare shortcomings in its air defense capabilities.