Nfter North Korean drones flew over South Korea at the end of December, President Yoon Suk-yeol’s government came under pressure because of its information policy. South Korea’s military admitted on Thursday that one of five North Korean drones “peripherally” flew through a no-fly zone around the presidential office in Seoul.
The General Staff had previously rejected corresponding media reports. The flight route is said to have been determined only now. The no-fly zone extends with a radius of 3.7 kilometers around the presidential office and also includes the Ministry of Defense.
A political problem for Yoon
The drone flew over South Korean territory and the capital Seoul for about three hours on Dec. 26 before returning north. It’s unclear whether North Korea took photos of the presidential office. The four other drones were spotted west of Seoul and temporarily closed airports. They ultimately disappeared from South Korean radar.
The surprised military in the south had tried unsuccessfully to shoot down the missiles with fighter jets. It was the first known flight of North Korean drones over South Korea since 2017. At that time, a North Korean drone taking photos of a missile defense position crashed.
According to media reports, President Yoon was only informed on Wednesday that the drone had entered the no-fly zone. He is said to have then ordered the military to disclose the trajectory of the drones. But the process casts a shadow over Yoon and his control over the ministries. The president’s popularity had fallen significantly since he took office in May, but had recently improved.