Conflict & Justice

North Korea accused of using GPS to jam signals to commercial flights


Officials disembark from Korean Air's Airbus A380 on May 24, 2011 at Airbus company in Blagnac, southwestern France.



North Korea has been accused of using GPS to jam electronic signals used by commercial planes, affecting hundreds of flights in and out of South Korea.

The signals had prompted Seoul to issue a warning notice for pilots and airlines, although it said no flight was in danger, Australia's ABC News reported.

More than 250 flights in and out of South Korea had experienced GPS signal jamming since the weekend, NBC News reported.

The Transport Ministry said navigation had been switched to alternative systems,

The accusations of North Korean involvement come amid rising tensions between Seoul and Pyongyang.

The North was accused by Seoul last year of jamming GPS systems.

The Daily quoted a government official as saying: "As it happened at the time of [military] drills in 2010 and 2011, we suspect DPRK was engaged in jamming signals."

Minister Kim Tae-Young told parliament the North had imported Russian equipment to jam GPS reception.

The North was also blamed for cyber attacks on South Korean financial institutions last year.

More from GlobalPost: Cyber attacks hits Korean defense department, US forces

Pyongyang last month breached US Security Council resolutions with the failed launch of a long-range rocket, thought by the West to be a test of a nuclear weapon delivery system. 

The China Daily cited a South Korean Defense Ministry official as saying the military's equipment had not been affected by the GPS jamming.

More from GlobalPost: North Korea: UN Security Council 'deplores' missile launch