This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal

North Korea's latest effort to antagonize its southern neighbor looks like something from a failed science-fair experiment.

Kim Jong Un's country is sending small drones to spy on South Korea. One problem: They're all crashing before they make it home with their intelligence.

Judging by the reaction of South Korean experts, the drones might as well be powered with a rubber band and armed with a Polaroid. "It looks like something I made with my friends in high school," Pusan National University's Robert Kelly told Voice of America.

The latest North Korean drone actually managed to fly over South Korea's presidential palace — known as the Blue House — before crashing near the border. Kelly was still not impressed. "You can see the Blue House on Google Earth, and you can sort of drive by it," he said. "It's not too hard to find. I'm not really convinced this is a game changer."

Added Defense Minister Kim Min-seok: "It is of primitive standard, and it would not have been easy to use it in an act of terror, or more precisely, it would not have been possible."

The 2-meter drone that crashed near the border snapped about 200 photos, but none were transmitted back to North Korea. Given the recent artillery fire between the two countries, some are taking the drone attempts as a further sign of North Korean hostility. But for now, they won't be yielding any tactical advantage.

This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.

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