In the spring of 2012, part of Hallasan National Park's forest was burned down by a fire believed to have been started by a group of hikers. Unfortunately, the incident did not act as a deterrent, and the number of climbers organizing illegal trips to restricted areas and unauthorized night-time hiking in the park has risen significantly.
In a bid to catch these hikers and other illegal activity, the park has recently boosted surveillance by introducing drones.
With a maximum operating duration of thirty minutes, the drones, once they are airborne, can cover up to twenty kilometers of ground.
Each drone is equipped with a camera that can identify the numbers on a car's license plate from one-hundred-fifty meters above the ground and park officials can monitor the drones' live feeds from screens at their control center.
"The drones will monitor their designated areas at the same time every day, so if an accident occurs, we'll know about it right away."
In addition to monitoring the grounds, the drones are designed to provide precise information on climate conditions, such as rain forecast and fine dust levels.
The national park said it plans to run the drone program temporarily, but added that depending on the efficiency, the drones could be installed permanently to ensure hikers' safety and the park's conditions.
Cho Sung-min, Arirang news.