February 25, 2024

Increased emphasis on unmanned aerial vehicles planned

Party statement calls for emphasis on lightweight, unmanned weapons systems

A formal statement adopted by the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Worker’s Party of Korea on Tuesday indicates a commitment to developing “high-precision, lightweight, unmanned and intelligent” military hardware. This state-of-art hardware is to be developed to commemorate the upcoming 70th anniversary of both the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonization and the formation of the Worker’s Party of Korea.

Although the statement does not explicitly mention unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the recovery of several crashed, suspected North Korean UAVs throughout 2014, past testing of weaponized drones, and the wording of the statement suggest that such platforms are a priority for the North Korean leadership.