North Korea Jams GPS Signals Near Sea Border Amid Rising Tensions

North Korea has jammed GPS signals near the inter-Korean maritime border for the second consecutive day, intensifying regional tensions. The move follows the DPRK’s threats of military action if South Korean ships enter its waters in the Yellow Sea, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

Potential for Escalation Amid Maritime Border Tensions

The GPS jamming was detected north of the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the West Sea for about an hour starting at 7:50 a.m. local time on Thursday, May 30. Marine radio broadcasts analyzed by NK News confirmed that several ships in the Yellow Sea experienced GPS outages on both Wednesday and Thursday. One vessel near the NLL received an urgent message to turn around immediately due to the GPS issues, though it remains unclear if these ships were under South or North Korean flags.

The Northern Limit Line is disputed by North Korea. The Military Demarcation Line is the border claimed by North Korea. Source: Naver Maps

Experts are uncertain whether North Korea’s actions were intended to provoke a conflict but warn that any accidental crossings of the sea border could be used as a pretext for a military response. Yong-han Park, a research fellow at the Korea Institute of Defense Analyses (KIDA), suggested the jamming might be designed to create confusion among the South Korean Coast Guard and fishermen, potentially leading them to cross the NLL by accident.

Yoon In-joo, a research fellow at the Korea Maritime Institute, also indicated that such incidents could provide grounds for North Korea to blame the South. Meanwhile, Commander Jihoon Yu, a former ROK Navy’s Task Force member, cautioned against overinterpreting North Korea’s actions but acknowledged them as part of the DPRK’s recent aggressive behavior.

Impact on Maritime Navigation and Safety

This incident follows heightened tensions in the region. Earlier this year, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un denounced the NLL, which serves as the de facto maritime border, as “illicit” and called for redefining the country’s borders. On Sunday, DPRK Vice Defense Minister Kim Kang Il claimed that South Korean navy and police warships frequently cross the maritime border under the guise of patrols, warning that the country’s armed forces would take “offensive actions” against any South Korean ships crossing the sea border.

South Korean Warships operating near NLL. Source: r/WarshipPorn

In March, Seoul reported similar GPS jamming by North Korea for the first time in eight years. In response, U.S. and South Korean forces conducted joint exercises to prepare for potential North Korean GPS jamming attacks.

North Korea’s current GPS jamming underscores the fragile security situation in the region and the potential for escalation from any perceived maritime border intrusions.

Alexander Mitchell
Alexander Mitchell
Pilot on the B-767, international and overwater operations. Accomplished SIGINT/LLVI operator with five years of diverse experience in strategic and tactical operations. Adept in handling confidential information and situations with discretion. Respected leader, providing purpose, motivation, and direction focused on achieving and exceeding company goals.


Rafah Crossing “Destroyed”

Recent footage has revealed that the Rafah Crossing in southern Gaza has been effectively destroyed. The footage offers a good clue as to why the crossing has remained closed since...

China’s Increase in Crude Oil Storage Tied to Economic Recovery, Strategic Reserve Replenishment

China’s National Statistics Bureau (NSB) released monthly data indicating that the country added approximately one million barrels per day (BpD) of crude oil to its commercial and strategic stockpiles...