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Expert claims N. Korea develops drone for dirty bomb attack

All Headlines 17:04 December 27, 2016

SEOUL, Dec. 27 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has recently developed a large stealth drone that can carry explosive devices and spread radioactive materials over South Korea, a private think tank said Tuesday.

"North Korea began to develop a large drone for reconnaissance and attack purposes in 2012 after its current leader Kim Jong-un took power from his late father Kim Jong-il," Kim Heung-kwang, executive director of North Korea's Intellectuals Solidarity (NKIS), said at a press conference held in Seoul,

"The latest drone is 'Banghyun 5' which was produced at a local airplane repair plant," he said.

The Banghyun 5 is a stealth drone made of titanium and carbon composites under the guidance of the country’s leader, according to Kim. With a 900-liter fuel tank, the 1.5-ton drone can fly up to 10 hours at a height of 4 kilometers and speed of 200 kilometers per hour, Kim said.

The North has been improving the stealth functions of unmanned aerial vehicles since 2000. The Banghyun 5 is designed to deliver a so-called dirty bomb based on enriched uranium to South Korea's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae and other major facilities or kill key enemy targets, he said.

The communist regime has been developing a variety of strategic weapons including an unmanned long-range aerial vehicle that could reach the United States and a nuclear-powered submarine that can carry submarine-launched ballistic missiles, the executive director said.

However, South Korea's military said it does not have any information on the North's development of such advanced drone weapons.

"The specifications of North Korea's unmanned aerial vehicle still lag far behind those of other advanced countries," it said.

In this photo taken on July 18, 2016, that appeared on a North Korean documentary film, a newly developed unmanned aerial vehicle is displayed in North Korea. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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