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N. Korea developing new devices to jam GPS signals: defense ministry

All Headlines 08:46 September 06, 2011

SEOUL, Sept. 6 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has been developing a signal jamming device with an extended range, the defense ministry said Tuesday.

In a report submitted to the parliamentary committee on defense, the ministry said North Korea has been developing the new Global Positioning System (GPS) jammer with a range of more than 100 kilometers, among other devices for electronic warfare.

The report also said the North imported about 20 communications and radar jamming devices from the old Soviet Union.

So far, North Korea has been known to have mounted Russian-made jamming devices on vehicles near the military demarcation line that can disturb GPS signals within a radius of 50 kilometers to 100 kilometers.

The ministry said the North operates a regiment-sized electronic warfare unit near Pyongyang, and some battalion-sized units closer to the front lines.

The report said that the North could soon begin developing electromagnetic pulse (EMP) bombs that can damage high-tech defense systems such as radars and communication networks.

"We don't have any confirmed intelligence, but given the rate of the North's development of new electronic devices and EMP development in other countries, it's possible that North Korea will also develop (EMP bombs)," the report said.

The ministry said South Korea has not countered North Korea's past electronic attacks with an electronic offensive of its own.

Earlier this year, the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) complained that the North was jamming GPS signals in the South, but Seoul's attempt to lodge a formal complaint was rejected. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) at the U.N. also urged Pyongyang to stop disrupting signals in South Korea.


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