The United States has deployed two of its most advanced long-distance surveillance drones to a base in northern Japan to spy on North Korea and China.
The deployment of the Global Hawk drones was made over the past week, The Associated Press reported on Friday.
The US military is seeking to improve its ability to have a close look on North Korea’s alleged nuclear activities and Chinese naval operations, the report said.
The advanced drones are able to fly at over 18 kilometers, conduct long-range missions and hover around targeted areas for a whole day.
According to Lt. Gen. Sam Angelella, commander of US Forces Japan, the drones will remain there until October. The move is likely upset China and North Korea.
Tens of thousands of US forces are currently based in Japan under a security pact between the two countries.
The United States has repeatedly called on China to “refrain from provocative actions” in the South China Sea and East China Sea.
Beijing claims the South China Sea in its entirety, while other countries including the Philippines, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Brunei Darussalam also have claims to the area and are in dispute with China.
In addition, China and Japan have long been locked in a dispute for more than a decade over the sovereignty of uninhabited islands in the South China Sea, known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and the Diaoyu islands in China, which are believed to have vast natural resources.
Although Washington has repeatedly said it would take no side on sovereignty of the disputed islands in the East China Sea, it officially recognizes Japan’s administration of the islands and feels responsible to protect Japan’s territory under a defense deal signed between the two countries.
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