The U.S. government is in talks with Korean defense ministry officials over the sale of the Global Hawk reconnaissance drones and other ground surveillance equipment, Reuters reported Wednesday. Officially known as RQ-4, the Global Hawk is the most effective unmanned reconnaissance drone in the world that can be controlled thousands of kilometers away and fly 20 km above a target for 32 hours.
Until now, the U.S. has refused to sell the Global Hawk citing its Missile Technology Control Regime, which bans the sale of missiles with a range of 300 km or more and a payload of at least 500 kg as well as unmanned reconnaissance drones.
If the U.S. authorizes the sale of the Global Hawk to Korea, the deal is expected to lead to changes in a Seoul-Washington pact that caps the maximum range and payload of Korean missiles. Seoul has been calling on Washington to revise the pact so that it can develop missiles with a range of 800 km or more.