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North Korea Seeks Lining Up Military Aircraft For Possible Show: NPR



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North Korea may be preparing a military air demonstration of a kind it has not conducted for more than a year. the East Coast of the country. The images were taken by the commercial company Planet on November 11 and November 13, and were shared by analysts at 38 North, a North Korea-based study website.

"We've noticed a number of military aircraft now lined up at the airport in recent days," said Jenny Town, a fellow at the Stimson Center and managing editor of 38 North. Build up includes fighters, helicopters, transport and aircraft attacks.

"It's very rare that we see any kind of traffic here," he said.

The eclectic variants of wing-to-wing parked aircraft make them unlikely to be used in a military operation or exercise, Town says. "It looks like they might be preparing for a visit to Kim Jong Un's site, and maybe a private demonstration for him."

Such a demonstration would also signal other countries, including the US ̵

1; that North Korea knows are watching satellites carefully. "This again indicates a failure in the diplomatic process," he said.

North Korea's air force is relatively far behind its rivals such as the US and South Korea, according to Joseph Dempsey, an associate professor at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. "They have a reasonable amount of wind power on paper, but it's very dated."

The latest planes are 30-40 years old, he said. Unlike nukes and missiles, North Korea cannot produce its own aircraft, he said. From 2014 to 2017, combat aircraft in North Korea saw "a bit of sea bombing or bombing of a target on land."

However, Dempsey says, this gathering appears to be a significant part of North Korea's active aircraft. "Looking back over the years, it looks great," he said.

For example, in satellite images, it is possible to see 14 Su-25 aircraft, he notes. The full force of the air is thought to have 34 such aircraft, and many more may not be fully operational.

Dempsey says there will be no such demonstration in 2018, the year of the first summit between President Trump and Kim in Singapore. During that time, North Korea has dramatically reduced some of its military activities and conducted demolitions at the nuclear test site in Punggye-ri. Wonsan in September 2016. North Korea's wind power was out of date, according to experts.

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AFP / AFP via Getty Images


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A pilot obtained a Sukhoi Su-25 aircraft on the second day of the Wonsan Friendship Air Festival in Wonsan in September 2016. North Korea's air force was out of date, according to experts.

AFP / The AFP via Getty Images

But the summit in Singapore never led to the termination of sanctions in the North, and since a summit in February in Hanoi also failed to make a deal between the two leaders, North Korea has been rigid in its rhetoric. it, and displays its military hardware. Last month, it successfully tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile at Wonsan, a significant technical achievement that could strengthen the nuclear arsenal.

North Korea is frustrated by the lack of development following talks in Hanoi. Kim has repeatedly warned of forgiving a "new way" in the coming year if the North and rival countries fail to reach an agreement. have reportedly rebuffed their US counterparts. Town said he believes the main problem is that Pyongyang wants top-level negotiations, while Washington is seeking a lower-key "working-level" approach.

"We're fundamentally opposed to this about how to move forward," he said.

In a statement Wednesday on the North's permanent mission to the United Nations, a spokesman reaffirmed joint military exercises between the US and South Korea and warned that time had run out. "The United States needs to consider what it can do in the short term," it said.


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