Seoul, South Korea (Reuters): U.S. military spokesman said on Monday that the United States has started to deploy attack drones to South Korea , days after it began to deploy an advanced anti-missile system to counter "continued provocative actions" by isolated North Korea .
The spokesman said that the drones , Gray Eagle Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) coming to South Korea are part of a broader plan to deploy a company of the attack drones with every division in the U.S. Army.
United States Forces Korea spokesman Christopher Bush said in a statement, "The UAS adds significant intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability to U.S. Forces Korea and our ROK partners."
The Gray Eagle is a remotely controlled attack drone made by U.S.-based General Atomics. They will be stationed at Kunsan Air Base, 180 km (112 miles) south of Seoul, Bush said, and would be permanently based in South Korea .
On March 7, the United States deployed the "first elements" of the controversial Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system to South Korea , despite angry opposition from China.
Once fully deployed in South Korea , a THAAD battery could theoretically use its radar to see and monitor activity beyond North Korea , deep into Chinese territory. Russia also worries the deployment could compromise its security, and said it would lead to a stalemate on the Korean peninsula.
South Korea will hold a presidential election by May 9 after the impeachment and dismissal last week of its former president, Park Geun-hye, and policy on North Korea and the THAAD system are likely to be contentious issues in the campaign.