A U-2S takes off from Osan Air Base in 2009.
The Drive: This Is How America Keeps Watch Over North Korea From The Sky
After more than a decade of nuclear and missile tests, the Pentagon has only stepped up its surveillance of the isolated country.
On n April 12, 2017, one of the U.S. Air Force’s WC-135 Constant Phoenix aircraft, which scoops up air to search for tell-tale signs of nuclear activity, landed at Kadena Air Base on the Japanese island of Okinawa. The plane’s arrival wasn’t surprising given widespread concern North Korea was prepping a sixth nuclear test coupled with reports of a potential American military response.
"U.S. intelligence is always on alert for a possible North Korean weapons test," an unnamed individual from the U.S. Intelligence Community told VOA on April 13, 2017. North Korean leader "Kim Jong Un wants his country to be validated as a nuclear power and a test would further that goal." This new nuclear test could coincide with the annual Day of the Sun, a massive, annual national holiday commemorating the birth of the country’s founder and Kim Jong Un’s grandfather, Kim Il Sung. It would be North Korea’s sixth reported detonation of a nuclear weapon.
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WNU Editor: That is a lot of planes watching North Korea .... and this is the first time that I am learning of the Saturn Arch aircraft and the RC-12X.