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US moves to sell advanced spy drones to S. Korea

Published on Dec 26, 2012 6:12 AM
 
The Obama administration formally proposed a controversial sale of advanced spy drones to help South Korea bear more of its defence from any attack by the heavily armed North. -- PHOTO: NORTHROP GRUMMAN

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The Obama administration formally proposed a controversial sale of advanced spy drones to help South Korea bear more of its defence from any attack by the heavily armed North.

Seoul has requested a possible US$1.2 billion (S$1.5 billion) sale of four Northrop Grumman Corp RQ-4 "Global Hawk" remotely piloted aircraft with enhanced surveillance capabilities, the Pentagon's Defence Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement dated on Monday and distributed on Tuesday.

South Korea needs such systems to assume top responsibility for intelligence-gathering from the US-led Combined Forces Command as scheduled in 2015, the security agency said in releasing a notice to US lawmakers.

"The proposed sale of the RQ-4 will maintain adequate intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities and will ensure the alliance is able to monitor and deter regional threats in 2015 and beyond," the notice said.

 
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