No U.S. plane forced down by North Korea jamming - source

Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:48pm GMT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. defence official denied on Saturday that a military reconnaissance plane was forced to make an emergency landing in March because of North Korean GPS jamming, as reported by a South Korean newspaper.

"We have no indication that any aircraft at the time of, or in the vicinity of, this alleged incident was forced to land on an emergency basis," the defence official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Chosun Ilbo newspaper, quoting a South Korean Defence Ministry report, said on Friday the U.S. aircraft had been involved in military exercises.

It said the North Korean jamming signals also disrupted the global positioning system (GPS) devices of coastal patrol boats and speed boats of the South Korean Navy. Several civilian aircraft were affected.

There are about 28,000 U.S. troops based in South Korea and the U.S. and South Korean militaries hold regular joint drills. The two Koreas are still technically at war, having only signed a truce, not a peace treaty, to end the 1950-53 Korean War.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart)

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