Photo: Northrop Grumman
Global Hawk drones have been in Guam since late last year, but the U.S. would now like to send them to the Demilitarized Zone separating North Korea from the South.Stars and Stripes reports the U.S. is in the final stages of negotiations securing fly-over rights to the area, which would allow the Global Hawk’s 340-mile range camera to peer inside the North.
American military officials confirm they’re close to an arrangement and will begin surveillance as soon as talks conclude.
North Korea’s missile sites and nuclear program will be of particular interest, but the U.S. is not limiting its interest to Korea alone.
Negotiations are reportedly underway with “a large group of nations in the region” to have fly-over access for surveillance operations.
All this poking around is bound to raise Chinese protests, and Air Force Colonel Ralph Cossa points out, “The Global Hawk is more out of sight and [has] greater stand-off range, which might make it appear less provocative … but [it] will still hurt the feelings of 1.3 billion Chinese people who resent being spied upon.“
This development comes on the heels of a mid-summer incident where two Chinese Su-27 jets chased an American U-2 spy plane over the Taiwan Strait
The RQ-4 Global Hawk is 47.6 feet long, can fly at 60,000 feet and travel more than 9,920 nautical miles — well within range of the Guam airbase.
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