President Yoon Suk-yeol berated Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup over the military's failed operation against five North Korean drones that entered South Korean airspace earlier this week, officials said Wednesday.
Yoon met with Lee on Tuesday morning and was briefed on the military's response to the North's violation of South Korean airspace the previous day.
The drones flew across the Military Demarcation Line separating the two Koreas, with one flying over northern parts of Seoul, but the South Korean military failed to shoot them down.
"How can there be none preparing against North Korean drone attacks? There were many similar incidents in the past, so what have you been doing until now?" Yoon said during the meeting, according to one official who relayed the exchange.
"Are you saying there was no proper training and that you did nothing?" he also said.
The briefing took place in the middle of a larger meeting convened to discuss security conditions with other national security officials, including National Security Adviser Kim Sung-han. Kim and Lee jointly briefed the president on the discussions.
Yoon later presided over a Cabinet meeting as scheduled but revised his opening remarks to call for advancing the establishment of a drone unit. He also promised to strengthen the country's surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities by introducing state-of-the-art stealth drones. (Yonhap)