North Korean Drone Actually Model Airplane


I had to look at this a few times before assuring myself it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke. But it’s been reported in numerous outlets and I just picked up the photos off our AP wire account and anyway it’s now April 2nd. So I have to assume it’s true. After an exchange of artillery fire on Monday, the South Korean Defense Ministry released photos of an alleged North Korean drone that had crashed on Beangnyeong Island, near the border between North and South. But here’s the thing: I was a boy who grew up in the pre-Internet era. And based on that knowledge I can corrected identify this as a model airplane. At a minimum North Korea’s focus on nuclear weapons has come at the severe determinant has pretty seriously prioritized nuclear weapons research over drone development.

Yonhap News Agency reported that about a week ago a similar drone was discovered in Paju, just south of the demilitarized zone. This earlier Paju drone is pictured here in photographs released by the South Korean Defense Ministry.

I think you may actually be able to buy this one at your local Radio Shack.

At a minimum, this is pretty clearly the same type of model airplane engine we kids almost blew our hands off with back in the 70s. It’s not identical. But it’s basically similar to this introductory remote control model plane engine I just looked up on this hobbyist site here.

(A free TPM t-shirt to whichever hobbyist can identify the actual model plane engine the NKs are using for this baby.)

Going back more than a decade I’ve been known as someone who is generally skeptical of the threat posed by North Korea. And this new news tends to confirm me in that belief.