Did North Korean GPS jammers force a U.S. plane to land?

An RC-7 Airborne Reconnaissance Low plane is shown flying on patrol towards the Washington D.C. area. The plane has been deployed in U.S.-South Korea war games, anti-narcotics spy missions in the Pacific and over D.C. during a 2002 sniper manhunt.

The U.S. is denying reports that North Korea successfully forced an American recon plane's emergency landing during March war games with South Korea, according to Reuters.

A widely read South Korean newspaper, Chosun Ilbo, was among the first to publish details of the alleged emergency landing, which purportedly happened during March military drills.

According to the paper, North Korean forces used a GPS jamming device to disrupt an American spy plane, the low-flying RC-7B "Crazy Hawk," soon after it took flight from South Korea. It was forced to land 45 minutes after takeoff. The GPS jamming also affected South Korean Navy vessels and civilian planes in the area, Chosun Ilbo reported.

So who's lying here? American defense officials or the South Korean press?

The Chosun Ilbo newspaper's source is well placed: a report from South Korea's defense ministry to Seoul lawmakers.

Another outlet, Yonhap, reported previously that North Korea has been busy purchasing and upgrading old Soviet jammers.

And it seems Wired's handy Danger Room blog, a favorite of defense industry geeks, reported scant details of the jamming back in March. Retaliation for U.S.-South Korea war games basically entailed a "a half-assed campaign of jamming and overloading web servers" instead of the all-out war North Korea promised.

The Pentagon's denial via Reuters?

An anonymous source.


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