New York [U.S.], Mar. 14 : In a reaction indication show of force following the increased provocations from North Korea, the United States has announced that it will permanently station attack drones in South Korea.
The announcement came a week after North Korea shot off four ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan, and also while the US and South Korea are conducting their annual joint military exercises.
According to CNN, the first pieces of THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense), a US-built defensive missile designed to take down incoming missiles from North Korea, arrived in South Korea last week.
"The stationing of this company, which will be assigned to the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division, directly supports the US Army's strategic plan to add one Gray Eagle company to each division in the Army," United States Forces Korea(USFK) said in a news release.
"The UAS adds significant intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability to US Forces Korea and our ROK (Republic of Korea) partners." According to a profile on the US Army website, the Gray Eagle Unmanned Aerial System is capable of staying in the air for 24 hours and is equipped with Hellfire missiles,.
With Pyongyang conducting a series of test missile launches in recent months, the development had built up to be a particularly worrying one for the US and its allies.
However, this is the first time that US forces have made the news of the drone movement public, according to USFK spokesman Christopher Bush.