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North Korea has recently developed a large stealth drone that can carry explosive devices and spread radioactive materials over South Korea, according to YonhapNews.
“North Korea has begun developing 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 added.
The Banghyun 5 is a stealth drone made of titanium and carbon composites. 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 payload of enriched uranium, which North Korea is believed to possess as a result of its nuclear weapons program.
Also known as a Radiological Dispersal Device (RDD), a dirty bomb is not to be confused with a nuclear weapon. Instead, according to popularmechanics.com, it uses conventional explosives such as TNT or dynamite to spread radioactive material over a wide area. The more powerful the explosive, the wider the contaminated area.
Kim believes that the North intends on using the dirty bomb on South Korea’s presidential office 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.