Calgary Herald

N. Korea jamming South’s GPS satellites, says U.S.

- Tony CApACCio

North Korea has been jamming global-positionin­g-satellite signals used in South Korea for military and commercial purposes, the top U.S. commander on the peninsula said.

“We have seen North Korea use GPS jammers” in northweste­rn South Korea and officials have “called on the North to stop,” Army General Walter Sharp, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, told the House ArmedServi­cesCommitt­ee.In his answer to a question posed by Arizona Republican Representa­tive Trent Franks, Sharp became the first U.S. official to publicly confirm allegation­s of jamming made by South Korean officials last month.

“There are signals coming out of North Korea that interfere with the actions that are going on in South Korea, both on the civilian and military sides,” Sharp said in brief remarks to Bloomberg after the hearing.

Separately, Sharp, in the annual congressio­nal hearing on the status of the 28,500 U.S. forces in Korea, said the U.S. and the Republic of Korea have developed a series of “firm” military responses for any new North Korea attacks.

Sharp said he was confident that the range of responses, short of an all-out war, wouldn’t “force an uncontroll­able escalation from South Korea’s perspectiv­e.”

A North Korean mini-submarine is believed by South Korean and U.S. officials to have sunk the warship Cheonan in March 2010. In April 2010, authoritie­s detained two North Koreans whom they suspected were assassins on a mission to kill North Korea’s most senior defector. North Korea shelled Yeonpyeong island in November, precipitat­ing another crisis.

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