GPS systems are very reliable, but they are vulnerable to jamming. North Korea was recently busted taking advantage of this fact. According to several news outlets and the top US military commander in Korea, Walter Sharp, North Korea has been jamming global-positioning-satellite (GPS system) signals used in South Korea for military and commercial purposes. Sneaky! Sharp was the first U.S. official to publicly confirm allegations of jamming made by South Koreans.
The GPS system jamming signals are interfering with both military and civilian GPS system signals. North Korea has been trying to jam mobile phones in the Seoul area, as well as GPS tracking devices used by South Korean military forces. Because of the jamming, some mobile phones both used by civilians and soldiers have not been working properly. Additionally, certain military equipment has been affected and has not been working properly, such as distance measurement devices used by artillery units.
Although the damage has been minimal so far, South Korea isn’t taking any chances. They have been working to establish an anti-jamming tracking system to control and block the attempts.
It is believed that the North Koreans developed the GPS system jamming device by copying technology developed by the Russians. The jammer is believed to be capable of disrupting all GPS signals in radius of 50 to 100 kilometers (31 to 62 miles), including state-of-the-art missiles and precision bombs.
GPS system jamming used in military situations is not a new thing. The Iraqi army is known to have caused a stir by using a similar GPS jamming system to disrupt the U.S. military’s guided weapons systems.