On Monday, a U.S. military spokesman said that the United States has started deploying attack drones, Gray Eagle Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), to South Korea as another strategy to protect against North Korea’s “continued provocative actions.”
United States Forces Korea spokesman Christopher Bush said in a statement that the Republic of Korea Armed Forces and the U.S. Air Force have begun coordinating to permanently station a UAS company at Kunsan Air Base.
“The stationing of this company, which will be assigned to the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division, directly supports the U.S. Army’s strategic plan to add one Gray Eagle company to each division in the Army,” Bush said.
“The UAS adds significant intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability to U.S. Forces Korea and our ROK partners,” he continued.
A South Korean official who chose to remain anonymous told Yonhap news agency that the attack drone would be able to hit North Korean ground targets.
“In case of a war on the Korean Peninsula, the unmanned aircraft could infiltrate into the skies of North Korea and make a precision strike on the war command and other major military facilities,” the official said.
Yonhap also reported that the drone system would be able to destroy the war command in Pyongyang, including Kim Jong Un.
Announcement of the attack drone deployment comes after the United States began sending a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system to South Korea after the North test-fired four ballistic missiles that landed in the Sea of Japan. Plans to deploy THAAD have become controversial as China, Russia and North Korea have voiced their opposition to the system’s placement, which they see as a threat to their national security. China believes THAAD’s advanced radar system could be used to spy on their country.