North Korea's resistance to change is punchline-worthy. It still operates a command economy, its population remains largely cut off from the Internet, and, with few exceptions, its military relies on old Soviet equipment. So the pictures of North Korean military units operating childish-looking unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) painted with red and orange flames seem ripe for mockery, especially when state-controlled media describe them as "kamikaze drones" ready to attack South Korea. All this makes it hard not to crack a joke. But North Korea's low-tech drones are, in fact, a military innovation -- one that has bested the U.S.-South Korea alliance on several occasions and has the ability to conduct military strikes on South Korea undetected.
Read the full piece at Foreign Policy.
More from CNAS
CommentaryA Nightmare for For China: What Would Beijing Do if Kim Jong-un Dies?
A leadership transition in North Korea would present both tremendous risk and opportunity for all stakeholders in Northeast Asia, perhaps most acutely for China. Beijing has l...
By Kristine Lee
CommentaryBreakthrough or Crisis? How Will Coronavirus Impact Tensions with North Korea?
The novel coronavirus pandemic has accelerated geopolitical tensions first in Northeast Asia, with the original outbreak in China, and now around the world as the United State...
By Duyeon Kim
CommentaryChallenging China’s Bid for App Dominance
Social media platforms are emerging as central to China’s efforts to shape the global information architecture....
By Kristine Lee & Karina Barbesino
CommentaryDefense Strategy for a Post-Trump World
In a recent piece warning about an emerging arms race in hypersonic missiles, The New York Times quoted Will Roper, the Air Force’s senior acquisition and technology official,...
By Van Jackson