On Thursday night, Kim Jong-un and delegations from Russia and China attended a North Korean military parade showcasing the country’s latest drone technology in Pyongyang.
“North Korea staged a massive military parade to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice, on July 28 its state media displayed its latest intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and drones in a show of its military might. With senior officials from China and Russia present, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un took the reviewing stand to observe the military parade in Pyongyang on July 27 to mark Victory Day,” said the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
What Happened is that during the parade, North Korea showcased two new aircraft nearly identical to U.S. military drones: the MQ-9 Reaper and the RQ-4 Global Hawk.
“Images and footage from the military parade revealed a convoy of trucks transporting drones that bore a striking resemblance to the Reaper, a potent and heavily armed combat drone capable of carrying up to eight AGM-114 Hellfire missiles as well as performing crucial intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions,” said Insider reports.
Last week, in a tweet, North Korea’s N.K. News released a video showcasing the Reaper-lookalike drone firing an unspecified missile during its flight.
The footage also showed another drone that strongly resembled the RQ-4 Global Hawk, an unarmed system renowned for its larger size, high altitude capabilities, and long-endurance ISR missions.
The state-run media outlet KCNA labeled the systems as a “strategic reconnaissance drone” and a “multipurpose attack drone,” proudly highlighting them as “newly developed and produced” additions to the country’s air force.
However, Insider noted that details surrounding North Korea’s two new drones are scarce and that it is unclear how closely their operations resemble those of their apparent American counterparts.
During the event, North Korean Defense Minister Kang Sun Nam criticized recent military activities by the U.S. and South Korea in his speech. Kim’s minister also pledged that North Korea will “never tolerate any military acts of encroaching upon the sovereignty and security of the state.”
Amid North Korea’s continuous efforts to bolster its military capabilities, the parade and display of new drone technology have drawn attention. The parade follows a string of recent ballistic missile launches by North Korea, which occurred shortly after a U.S. missile submarine had docked at a South Korean port for the first time in four decades.
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Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager