N. Korea's new stealth drone capable of carrying 'dirty bomb': analyst

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : December 27, 2016, 18:01 | Updated : December 27, 2016, 18:01

A file picture showing a drone developed by San Diego-based General Atomics [Courtesy of General Atomics]

North Korea has developed a stealth drone made of titanium and carbon composites that can carry explosive devices including a "dirty bomb" based on enriched uranium to spread radioactive materials over South Korea, a private group claimed Tuesday.

The new drone called "Banghyun 5" was produced at an airplane repair plant on a special order from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, according to North Korea's Intellectuals Solidarity (NKIS).

"North Korea began developing a large reconnaissance and attack drone in 2012 after leader Kim Jong-un took power," NKIS head Kim Heung-kwang, a defector-turned analyst, told reporters, citing sources in the North.

The Banghyun 5 is a 1.5-ton stealth drone that can fly for up to 10 hours at a speed of 200 kilometers (124 miles) per hour, he said.

Pyongyang has developed a variety of unmanned aerial vehicles, the analyst said, adding the North's final goal is to develop a drone that can reach the United States. 
North Korea's attack drone was unveiled in 2013, and South Korea is in the process of using concentrated electromagnetic pulse devices to disable North Korean drones.

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