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(LEAD) S. Korea calls U.N. attention to N. Korea's GPS jamming

All Headlines 15:38 April 12, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES with Foreign Ministry briefing in last 2 paras; UPGRADES attribution)

SEOUL, April 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has called the attention of the U.N. Security Council to North Korea's recent attempts to jam GPS signals in the South, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

In a letter addressed to China, the council's rotating president, Seoul said North Korea has been "generating electronic jamming signals that dangerously affect" GPS in South Korea.

"The GPS jamming by the DPRK is an act of provocation that poses a threat to the security of the Republic of Korea and undermines the safety of civil transportation, including aircraft and vessels," Seoul's chief envoy to the U.N., Oh Joon, wrote in the letter dated April 5, asking for the document to be circulated within the council.

DPRK is the acronym of North Korea's official name: the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"The Government of the Republic of Korea strongly urges the DPRK to stop its GPS jamming without further delay and to refrain from any other acts of provocation which undermine peace and security in the Korean Peninsula," the letter added.

According to Seoul, the jamming signals were sent from five North Korean regions -- Haeju, Yonan, Pyonggang, Kumgang and Kaesong -- between March 31 and April 6.

GPS disruptions could cause mobile phones to malfunction and affect planes and ships that rely on the satellite signal for navigation. No damage has been reported so far.

North Korea, which has been accused of jamming GPS signals in the South in the past, is believed to have carried out the latest provocation in response to the annual South Korea-U.S. military drills, and recent U.N. and bilateral sanctions punishing the regime for its nuclear test in January and long-range rocket launch in February.

The letter also noted that the jamming is a "clear violation" of the Armistice Agreement that ended the 1950-53 Korean War, as well as relevant international agreements, including the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Constitution.

Under article 45 of the constitution, there is a ban on "harmful interference" of radio services and communications of other member states.

Speaking at a regular press briefing, ministry spokesman Cho June-hyuck said the letter was passed around among the council members.

He also said Seoul has raised the issue with the ITU, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Maritime Organization and other relevant bodies, asking them to take necessary steps.

hague@yna.co.kr
(END)

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