South Korea to beef up GPS surveillance system

The government plans to set up systems to detect and defend against GPS jamming signals from the North, and will open the tender for a public company to implement the system this month.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor on
South Korea plans to beef up its GPS surveillance system, amid recent war threats and past GPS jamming attempts from North Korea.

South Korea plans to beef up its surveillance system against North Korea's electronic jamming signals, which targeted its civilian facilities in the past.

Unnamed sources told Yonhap News Agency Wednesday the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning plans to set up a GPS surveillance system which can track down the attack point and impact of GPS jamming attempts from its neighbor.

South Korea operates a radio wave control system for domestic operators, and they raised the need to set up a comprehensive system to detect GPS irregularities, the report noted.

Under the plan, the ministry plans to pass on the technology developed by the state-run Electronics and Telecomunications Research (ETRI) to a selected civilian firm to establish the surveillance system.

The government aims to open the public tender in mid-April with the aim of setting up the system by November or December this year, an official said in the report.

Efforts to develop a system to defend against GPS jamming is also "under way", the official added, but did not state a detailed schedule for the plan. 

"The GPS jamming surveillance system is part of a wider plan that was established earlier," another official said in the report, amid heightening tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

South Korea's latest plans come after disruptions of GPS signals since 2010 by North Korea, with the latest attempt dating between April 28 and May 13 last year. The disruption affected hundreds of South Korean commercial ships and flights in the border area, which Pyongyang officially denied, the report noted.

North Korea had also been accused of hacking attacks on South Korean online networks, and is believed to operate a team of hackers trained to break into computer networks, steal information and spread malware.

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