UPDATE 4 (2012-5-31): Three arrested in South Korea over GPS jamming. According to the Choson Ilbo:
Spies in South Korea were involved in North Korea’s recent jamming of GPS signals, police said Wednesday. The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said it booked or arrested three men on espionage charges of collecting confidential military information to help the North.
They include a businessman identified only by his surname Lee who was formerly a prisoner of war from North Korea, a Korean-New Zealander identified as Kim, and another man who formerly worked for a defense contractor.
Export of electronic jamming devices to some countries including the North is banned.
Lee and Kim, who are engaged in trade activities in Nampo, North Korea and New Zealand, are suspected of attempting to hand over GPS jamming devices and radar systems to Pyongyang at the direction of a North Korean agent.
Police say they have footage of their meeting with the agent and a statement from Kim saying he received an order from the North.
Read previous posts on this topic below:
UPDATE 3 (2012-5-18): Yonhap reports on that the GPS disruptions have ended and offers some data on the scope of the inconvenience:
South Korea has accused North Korea of disrupting global positioning system (GPS) signals between April 28 and May 13 from the North’s western border city of Kaesong.
GPS is a satellite-based navigation system widely used by planes, ships and the military as well as ordinary drivers.
The jamming attacks have affected more than 650 flights by South Korean and foreign airlines, including Korean Air, FedEx and United Airlines, although no accidents have been reported, according to the transportation ministry.
UPDATE 2 (2012-5-19): KCNA reports that the DPRK denies the jamming activities:
Pyongyang, May 18 (KCNA) — The group of rat-like Lee Myung Bak, hordes of the worst traitors, is making its desperate efforts, sticking to its bad habit of escalating the confrontation with fellow countrymen.
The group is busy staging a new farce and smear campaign against the DPRK over the damage done by jamming.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications gave the following answer to the question put by KCNA in this regard on Friday:
According to the formal announcement by the politicians including the chairman of the Broadcasting and Communication Committee and media of south Korea, all parts of south Korea had been in mayhem due to jamming for 16 days from April 28 to mid-May.
More than 670 planes and 110 odd ships suffered from jamming.
There was the possibility of big accidents likely to claim big casualties. Airplanes, subject to jamming just before landing, had to divert their courses and circle in the air before landing in horror.
Drone S-100 of the south Korean navy on its test-flight was jammed and suddenly struck like a “missile” the vehicle which controlled it, leaving several people dead and seriously wounded.
There were such accidents in which aircraft belonging to the U.S. forces in south Korea and the south Korean army could not fly properly during war exercises targeted against the north and were forced to land hastily.
There were a lot of abnormal happenings in which control systems of sailing warships of the south Korean navy and many civilian ships were paralyzed due to the troubled GPS satellite navigation system and lost their directions. It is not easy to guess the mayhem as south Korean warships which should be in the waters south of the Military Demarcation Line were detected to be on the land of South Hwanghae Province of the DPRK. A 29 000-ton class passenger ship and oil transport lost their courses and they were in the danger of bumping against each other. There occurred such cases for several consecutive days in which fishing boats during their operations sailed beyond fishing grounds toward the north.
It was reported that on the ground, the main communication system used by the puppet army units was jammed, compelling it to switchover to an emergency wire and wireless communication system which was supposed to use as a reserve one.
The sky, land and seas of south Korea are in utter confusion due to this jamming plus mad-cow disease.
It is said that the Heaven knows who does the most evil thing and metes out punishment to him. No wonder, there is a rumor in south Korea that the group of traitors is paying a dear price for its thrice-cursed crimes.
What matters is that the group of traitors, which was so stunned by such terrible mayhem that it kept mum for sometime, came to its senses, though belatedly, and began staging the above-said farce and smear campaign against the DPRK.
At first, the group was so stupid as to assert radio signals seemed to come from the north but later denied itself the story, saying this was not scientifically confirmed for fear of something.
Then the group said in the end it was clear those signals came from Kaesong. Recently it spread misinformation that the north used a vehicle-shape means for jamming the GPS imported from Russia and stopped the jamming operation under the influence of China which was allegedly urged by Lee to tell the north to halt it.
Rat-like Lee Myung Bak group is behaving like sleep-walking patients.
In a word, the group is sticking to its inveterate bad habit of accusing others in a bid to shake off the disgrace.
When an attempt to send a “written protest ” to the DPRK in the name of the chairman of the puppet Broadcasting and Communication Committee and Media was frustrated, puppet forces are busy visiting the International Telecommunication Union and the International Civil Aviation Organization, etc. as part of their ridiculous diplomacy.
As an old fable of Korea says, for one trying to pass the buck for one’s wrongs to others is an attribute peculiar to a rat.
It is well known to the world that after fabricating the Cheonan warship sinking case, the Lee group deliberately brushed aside so many suspicions raised at home and abroad and labeled it the case “linked with the north”.
It was brought to light that the group wrote letters “No. 1″ on the propelling body of the torpedo in a bid to prove that the case was “linked with the north” and it was recorded in the history of nation as unprecedentedly hideous fabrication. The group, however, failed to drop that bad habit.
When the system of the financial computer network of the “Agricultural Cooperative” of south Korea was thrown into the worst state of paralysis in April last year to cause a loss to the tune of a hundred million won and suffer disgrace in the eyes of the world, the puppet group instructed the puppet intelligence service and prosecution to draw a conclusion that they were caused by the ” north” and hastily make it public.
At that time even members of the cooperative, the victim, asserted that the above-said announcement was a hasty conclusion as it lacked a scientific ground and even the security planning board of the puppet army formally clarified that the above-said happenings could not be described as an attack of the north Korean military. All these things took place later.
It also took place shortly ago that the Lee group blamed the north for even the “cyber-terror against the election management committee,” a product of the mean scramble of the ruling party for power, only to suffer bitter disgrace.
Looking back on history, it was none other than the rat-like Lee group that foolishly behaved to put under control all untoward incidents, big and small, which happened inside south Korea due to wrong politics by spreading stories that the north was linked with them.
What is obvious is that all the misinformation that something was done by the north and something was linked with it floated by the group finally turned out to be a farce and fabrication for escalating confrontation with compatriots without an exception.
The story about the north’s jamming spread by the group of traitors is nothing but a desperate effort to shirk off even a bit the heavy responsibility for its thrice-cursed high treason.
The group is making its last ditch-efforts to escape punishment for its crimes but it should know that it is too late.
What remains to be done by the group is to make apology to the whole nation and the world and commit suicide.
The group stuck to its inveterate bad habit of shifting the blame for the scandals committed by its clan onto compatriots. This once again fully revealed that the Lee group is no more than a group of rats in human skin.
The group should bear in mind that evil doers are bound to suffer greater misfortune and disasters.
UPDATE 1 (2012-5-14): According to the Daily NK:
GPS jamming signals that have been coming from the Kaesong region of North Korea since April 28th show no signs of ceasing; however, there has been no damage done to property or people to date.
According to a source cited by Yonhap News on the 13th, “GPS jamming signals have been continuously emerging from the Kaesong area of North Korea, including today. However, there have been no cases of damage to our side’s military or civilian equipment.”
The source explained, “Most key equipment such as the military’s fighter jets, transporters and guided munitions carry a U.S. military code (‘P code’) receiver so it cannot be interfered with by North Korea’s GPS jamming signal. Private aircraft and ships also carry INS (inertia navigation system) or some other navigation system, and therefore North Korea’s signals cannot become a disturbance.”
Since the 28th of last month, 609 domestic aircraft from 10 companies, 48 aircraft from 22 American, Japanese and Chinese companies and one U.S. military aircraft have reported being affected by the GPS jamming signal.
The South Korean government has reported the issue to the UN affiliated International Telecommunications Union (ITU), requesting a ruling on whether the jamming violates international rules. North Korea is a member of both the ITU and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
ORIGINAL POST (2012-5-4): According to a Yonhap story published in the Korea Times:
More than 120 ships, including Coast Guard vessels and a passenger boat, have reported malfunctions in their navigation systems since the apparent jamming of satellite signals by North Korea last week, maritime police said Friday.
According to the Coast Guard in Incheon, west of Seoul, a total of 122 ships were affected by the disruption to Global Positioning System (GPS) signals last Saturday. Among the vessels were eight patrol boats belonging to the Coast Guard, a passenger liner carrying 387 people and a petrol products carrier.
Fishing boats operating near the tense western maritime border with North Korea also reported errors in their navigation systems, although none of them led to accidents, Coast Guard officials said.
“Last Saturday, I was sailing toward Incheon when the GPS stopped working, and I almost sailed north,” said a fisherman from the western border island of Yeonpyeong, who gave only his surname Kim.
Koreans are not free to travel between the sides as the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce and left them in a technical state of war.
On Wednesday, the transport ministry said about 250 commercial flights in and out of international airports at Incheon and Gimpo, also west of Seoul, were affected by the jamming, although they were not put in danger.
South Korea came under similar electronic attacks in March of last year, and in August and December of 2010, all of which were blamed on the North. South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin has said anti-jamming programs are being developed to counter the attacks.
The defense ministry has also said the North operates a regiment-sized electronic warfare unit near its capital Pyongyang, and some battalion-sized units closer to the inter-Korean border.
Here are links to previous stories about the DPRKs GPS devices:
1. DPRK attempts to block ROK GPS signals (2011-3-20)
2. ROK believes DPRK disrupting GPS receivers (2010-10-5)
3. DPRK looking to export GPS jammer (2008-5-29)