<National Report>This week, North Korea’s state-run news agencies have been proudly stating that Kim Jong Un’s military has entered the 21st century with 37 “aerial combat drones,” which the small communist nation claims are “of an equal or even better quality” with drones operated by the United States. But Thursday morning, the US State Department revealed that North Korea’s claims aren’t quite as impressive as they sound… their “drones” are little more than radio-controlled toys, purchased at a RadioShack store in Seoul, South Korea.
In a press conference held Thursday, US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns wrote off North Korea’s claims, showing CCTV footage, bills of sales, and other evidence that on May 3rd, two North Korean operatives had snuck into South Korea’s capital, where they purchased the toy airplanes and helicopters from a RadioShack store. Those operatives spent approximately $4,300 USD on North Korea’s supposed “drone program” before loading the crates into a truck, which presumably arrived back in North Korea on or before Monday, May 12th, when North Korean state news began running the story.
“This is pretty much a non-story. All they have are some toy planes,” Burns said during the brief press conference. “The best one they picked up has a maximum range of about 120 feet or so. They couldn’t fly these over the demilitarized zone, let alone into South Korea. And even if they did, who cares? They aren’t dangerous unless you ram someone with one, and even then they aren’t going to really hurt anyone.”
This didn’t stop Kim Jong Un from showing off the so-called drones on Thursday. North Korea’s leader spent twenty minutes playing with the toys in a large public square in Pyongyang surrounded by soldiers, some of whom were also flying the radio-controlled toys.
“I promised the people that North Korea would modernize our glorious army. This is our first step toward victory over the weak Americans and the weaker South,” Kim Jong Un declared during a brief speech in the square, after having crashed his toy helicopter into a dried-up fountain. “Once we weaponize these drones, the capitalists will bow down before the technological might of North Korea.”
RadioShack, who operates the stores in South Korea under the “Future Shop” moniker, released a tongue-in-cheek press release shortly after Burns’ press conference, asking consumers to not “use our highly-sophisticated drone technology to overthrow any imperialist governments.” They also revealed that the same toys purchased by North Korea will be listed on their website at 30% off next week, in what the company is referring to as “the freedom sale.”