Go to contents

Global Hawk flies over Korean Peninsula skies anew

Posted September. 06, 2021 07:36,   

Updated September. 06, 2021 07:36


The Global Hawk (RQ-4), high-altitude, unmanned surveillance aircraft has flown into the Korean Peninsula and started surveying North Korea for an extended duration around the inter-Korean military demarcation line as signs suggested the North started preparation for a military parade lately.

According to multiple websites tracking military aircraft on Sunday, the Global Hawk took off the U.S. military’s Yokota Airbase in Japan and flew into the skies over the Korean Peninsula on Saturday. The aircraft passed South Korea’s southern coast, moved northward along the western coast and continued flying over the skies of MDL areas to and from east and west multiple times through Sunday morning. A Global Hawk has thus flown into the skies over the Korean Peninsula only eight days after the unmanned aircraft flew into the peninsula on August 27, when the South Korea-U.S. joint military drill for this year’s second half ended.

Analysts say the Global Hawk’s sortie into the Korean Peninsula is related to South Korean and U.S. intelligence authorities’ attention to Pyongyang’s possible surprise provocation and demonstration of military force. Watchers also suggest the possibility that the North, which is conducting an annual summer military drill since July, will test fire its new weapons for attacking the South, including an improved North Korean version of the Iskander (KN-23). The E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (STARS), which surveys the North’s military situation including locations of transporter erector launchers, also flew over the skies of Yellow Sea waters in the Korean Peninsula on Saturday.

Also, it has been also reported that the intelligence authorities have repeatedly spotted scenes of more than 10,000-strong military troops gathering and marching in line together since late last month at Mirim Airport, situated about 5 kilometers from the Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang. Analyzing these moves, the South Korean and U.S. authorities are judging Pyongyang is preparing a military parade to mark the 76th anniversary of the founding of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party on October 10. After unveiling an ultra-large ICBM and ‘Bukguksong-4 ㅅ’ SLBM at the 75th anniversary of the party’s founding last year, the North unveiled the “Bukkuksong-4 ㅅ,’ another new ICBM during the military parade marking the 8th party convention in January this year.

Kyu-Jin Shin newjin@donga.com