US moves to sell advanced spy drones to S. Korea
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.