Mystery about “North Korean Drones” Solved by a Double Dragon

North Korean dispute over a number of crudely made ”mystery” drones continues, as Pyongyang rejects Seoul’s claim that the crash-landed drones had been deployed by Pyongyang. The truth behind the “mystery drones” may very well be one that neither Seoul nor Pyongyang would like to discuss in public. That is, US-South Korean Special Operations inside North Korea.

drone_South Korea_Korea_2Pyongyang continues to categorically deny any involvement in the deployment of small drones found crashed near the inner-Korean border, while Seoul continues reiterating that the drones had come from the DPRK.

The crux of the matter is, both are likely to be telling the exact truth but the devil is in the detail.

Pyongyang’s latest rejection of Seoul’s claims came on Sunday, May 11, three days after the Defense Ministry in Seoul repeated the claim that the crudely made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) had been deployed from North Korea.

Drone_South Korea_Korea_1.jpg-mediumThe Defense Ministry in Seoul supports its claims, saying that a team of South Korean and American experts had analyzed the drone’s GPS data and found that the drones had departed from and intended to return to a location within the DPRK.

Context and Double Dragons. One of the mystery drones was discovered on March 24 in Paju, North of the southern capital Seoul and the second was discovered on a western border island one week after the first one crashed. The third drone was discovered in a mountain near the east coast on April 6.

The dates coincide with the ending of the 2014 US-South Korean Key Resolve and Foal Eagle military drills and beginning and ending of the 2014, US-South Korean Ssan Yong (Double Dragon) field exercise which was launched on March 27 and ended on April 7, 2014.

Special Forces. It is noteworthy that a Special Forces exercise, Balance Knife, has been added to the Foal Eagle field exercises since 2013.

US_ARMY_KOREA_SPRECIALFORCES_SK_FOALEAGLEThe additional special operations drills are aimed at infiltrating the DPRK and at building a domestic armed resistance within the DPRK. Once inside the DPRK, the units focus on building an indigenous resistance organization, reported “Special Warfare”, adding that many South Korean commandos:

“still have family in the North that they may or may not have contact with. (which are) …good for growing strong relationships and transcend NK ideology and can serve as a foundation for the development of a loyal resistance organization”.

Meanwhile, Pyongyang’s news agency KCNA quotes a DPRK spokesman as saying:

“They force us to believe in the faked drones. … It is better to believe in invisible ghosts. … Seoul aims to please its US master by kicking of a fresh racket of confrontation. … The South Korean authorities should accept without any complaint the proposal made by the DPRK to carry out a joint investigation into the drone cases …”.

What Pyongyang has at hand is, with a likelihood approaching certainty, the creation of an active, militant domestic opposition, led by US and South Korean special forces. It is a development which was forecast in the January 23, 2014 article “North Korea may be Next US Target for “Revolution” by Special Forces”. The standard m.o. used by US Special Forces is detailed in the training circular titled SPECIAL FORCES UNCONVENTIONAL WARFARE – TC 18-01, previously published by nsnbc.

If the drones were launched from a location inside the DPRK and crashed during their attempted return, they have either been launched by infiltrated US/South Korean special forces or a militant domestic opposition that is working in liaison with them. Naturally, Pyongyang has little interest in announcing that fact publicly before it has, at the very least, captured some members of this insurgency and can prove their involvement.

It is also safe to assume that the crashed drones were not crashed intentionally. Once members of the general public in South Korea and the South Korean press stumbled upon them, there was no other way to cover-up Soul’s and Washington’s unconventional warfare operation than blaming Pyongyang for sending drones to the south.

That way, Seoul is telling the truth when is claims that the drones came from the North, and Pyongyang is telling the truth when it states that Pyongyang has absolutely no involvement in the drones.

If Soul and Washington had no involvement in the drones as they claim, why would they spoil a perfectly good chance to prove Pyongyang’s “attack against the sovereignty of the south” with low-tech, homemade drones? There is one problem though. A joint investigation and revealing the GPS data which US and South Korean “experts” discovered would lead to at least one of the cells which US and South Korean special forces are cooperating with?

The drones balanced on a knife edge until the Double Dragon killed the Mystery about them. The Foal Eagle has gotten its feathers ruffled.

Dr. Christof Lehmann is the founder and editor of nsnbc. He is a psychologist and independent political consultant on conflict and conflict resolution and a wide range of other political issues. His work with traumatized victims of conflict has led him to also pursue the work as political consultant. He is a lifelong activist for peace and justice, human rights, Palestinians rights to self-determination in Palestine, and he is working on the establishment of international institutions for the prosecution of all war crimes, also those committed by privileged nations. On 28 August 2011 he started his blog nsnbc, appalled by misrepresentations of the aggression against Libya and Syria. In March 2013 he turned nsnbc into a daily, independent, international on-line newspaper. He can be contacted at nsnbc international at

Related analysis:

North Korea may be Next US Target for “Revolution” by Special Forces

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