South Fears North Korean Drones Could Unleash Terror From The Sky

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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Just in case North Korea’s missiles, nukes, and chemical weapons weren’t big enough problems, the North is believed to have around 1,000 drones capable of unleashing terror from above.

The North’s arsenal of unmanned aerial vehicles could be used for airborne terror attacks, the Yonhap News Agency reported Wednesday, citing a South Korean think tank.

“North Korea’s air forces are inferior to its South Korean counterpart and an absence of military satellites is making it difficult for Pyongyang to” carry out reconnaissance, Chun Ku-youn, a research fellow at the Korea Institute for National Unification, explained in a report, adding that drones could also be used for biological and chemical weapons strikes.

Although the North denies it, the country, which is not a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention, is suspected of running an advanced chemical weapons program. The Korea Institute for Defense Analyses estimates that North Korea possesses around 25 chemical agents, including six potent nerve agents, such as VX and sarin.

“North Korea may possess between 2,500 and 5,000 tons of [chemical warfare] agents,” the Nuclear Threat Initiative assessed, “At maximum capacity, North Korea is estimated to be capable of producing up to 12,000 tons of [chemical weapons].”

While the country is a signatory to the Biological Weapons Convention, the reclusive regime is also believed to be in possession of 13 types of pathogens, including anthrax and clostridium.

North Korea’s drones are called Banghyun, and it has been developing various versions since the 1990s.

Standard North Korean drones fly at around 100 mph and can carry 45-55 pound payloads. Kim Heung-Kwang, a defector and the director of a private think tank, revealed last year that North Korea’s stealth drone, the Banghyun 5, could potentially carry explosives and radioactive material. This type of drone could be used as a radioactive dispersal device, or in simpler terms, a dirty bomb drone that renders the target area uninhabitable for years.

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