Earlier this year, North Korea attempted to use jamming technology to interfere with the operations of a South Korean communications satellite used primarily by the ROK military, according to a report released this morning.
Citing a ROK military official, the report carried by Joongang Ilbo explained, “In March, a very strong jamming signal was emitted in the direction of Mugunghwa-5 by an antenna in the vicinity of Pyongyang.”
“The chances are that North Korea emitted the jamming signal in order to test the level of our defenses,” the cited military official concluded.
According to the report, the ROK military, which uses the 4,448kg satellite along with Korea Telecom and others, was able to respond and avoid any serious issues arising from the attack.
Mugunghwa-5 (aka ‘Koreasat-5’), which was designed and built in France before being launched from a floating platform on the equator on August 22nd, 2006, reportedly has an effective radius of 6,000km around the Korean Peninsula, meaning that it can transmit orders to naval ships and fighter aircraft.
As a result, the Chosun People’s Army is thought to have performed the attack in order to check on the ROK military’s ability to defend its satellite-based lines of command in the event of war.
South Korea is currently developing a new satellite that will reportedly be five times better at defending against such North Korean attacks. It is slated for launch in 2016.