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U.S. again deploys reconnaissance plane above Korean Peninsula

All Headlines 18:04 May 14, 2019

SEOUL, May 14 (Yonhap) -- A U.S. reconnaissance plane flew over Seoul and surrounding regions on Tuesday, an aviation tracker said, on an apparent mission to collect intelligence in the wake of North Korea's latest test-firing of missiles.

The plane, believed to be an RC-135W Rivet Joint, was detected in the skies above South Korea's capital city and the surrounding province of Gyeonggi on the day, Aircraft Spots posted on Twitter.

It is a third time that the aircraft has undertaken such operations over the Korean Peninsula in the past week, following several similar operations last month in areas around Seoul.

Experts have said it may have been on a mission to prepare for possible additional military moves by Pyongyang. On May 4, North Korea test-fired "a new type tactical guided weapon" as well as a barrage of projectiles from multiple launch rocket systems, and it launched two short-range missiles five days later.

Before then, the North had last carried out major a weapons test in November 2017.

The U.S. reconnaissance aircraft used to occasionally fly over areas near Seoul around the time when the North fired a string of ballistic missiles in 2017. Since the peace process began last year, however, such flights have usually taken place over the Yellow Sea, according to experts.


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