(Washington Post) South Korea has long taken unusual pains to keep people from aerially photographing its presidential palace. On a mountainous hiking trail that winds behind the blue-roofed palace, cameras are restricted. The satellite mapping service produced by Naver — Korea’s version of Google — resorts to a Photoshop trick, depicting the Blue House, set just north of Seoul’s downtown, as a bushy forest.
Such covertness is often excused as the duty the of a country technically at war. Decades ago, North Korean commandos tried to raid the palace. Pyongyang could presumably plan worse.
It was with a degree of chagrin, then, that South Korea on Friday announced that the Blue House — and several other sensitive areas in the country — had been photographed by sky-blue drones almost certainly belonging to the rival North. South Korea learned about the incursion only because three such drones crashed-landed, leaving a cache of evidence. Investigators found photos of South Korean apartment blocks, military installations and President Park Geun-hye’s palace.
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