Former intelligence agent has claimed that North Korea has started a military modernization program to recycle hundreds of old fighter jets into kamikaze drones, The Korea Times has reported.
“These unmanned suicide drones will be used to strike South Korea’s major industrial and infrastructure facilities,” Choe Su-ryong, a former agent of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) was quoted as saying.
According to an agent, North Korea is attempting to convert Soviet warplanes into precision-guided kamikaze drones.
While other military drones can be controlled remotely and return to base after dropping bombs or explosives, suicide drones are intended to strike and explode. Depending on the type, kamikaze drones can carry a variety of explosives and missiles.
“Actually, the South Korean military has been preparing for this kind of military threat for a long time,” the agent said.
The US Defense Intelligence Agency estimates that North Korea has over 900 combat aircraft. However, the vast majority of them are remarkably outdated.
About 750 models were likely introduced by the Soviets in 1950: 400 are thought to be MiG-15s, while another 350 are believed to be MiG-17s, -19s and -21s.