S. Korea military to develop unmanned sensors to beef up DMZ surveillance

The military has signed a deal to develop unmanned ground surveillance sensors to boost its capacity to monitor North Korean forces in the Demilitarized Zone, the defence procurement agency said Tuesday.

The deal between the Defence Acquisition Program Administration and the local defence manufacturer, Hanwha Thales, is worth 3.6 billion won (S$4.4 million).

The sensors will be installed in unmanned corners along the southern side of the DMZ, with the capacity to detect any infiltration attempts from the North and inform local military leadership of them.

"By next year, the exploratory development will be complete, while the system development will be carried out by 2019 before being deployed to the Army and the Marine Corps.," a DAPA official said.

"The unmanned ground surveillance sensors will be able to detect infiltration by the enemy in an early stage and destroy them so we can cripple any disruption attempts behind the line," the official said.

A series of recent cases, including North Korean defections, to the South via the DMZ sparked concerns over border security.

In August, North Korean soldiers crossed into the southern side of the DMZ and laid land mines, which blew up and maimed two South Korean soldiers.