TOKYO — North Korea on Friday denied accusations from Seoul that it sent small, unarmed drone aircraft over the border recently. Three of the drones crashed and were analyzed by the South, which said they came from North Korea.
Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North Korean ruling party, said the claim that the drones came from the North was part of a “heinous conspiratorial farce” aimed at making the North look like it is engaging in belligerent behavior. It added that Seoul is trying to provoke a war.
South Korean officials say they suspect the three drones that crashed recently near the border with the North were flown on possible surveillance missions. The Koreas have been divided since the 1950-53 Korean War.
North Korea has recently been touting its drone program, a relatively new addition to its arsenal. It has prominently displayed large drone-like aircraft in military parades. According to the North’s state-run media, leader Kim Jong Un watched a drone attack drill on a simulated South Korean target last year.