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U.S. flies another spy plane over S. Korea: aviation tracker

Defense 11:37 December 03, 2019

SEOUL, Dec. 3 (Yonhap) -- A U.S. reconnaissance aircraft again flew over the Korean Peninsula, an aviation tracker said Tuesday, the latest in a series of near-daily flights to monitor North Korea amid concern Pyongyang could undertake additional provocations after last week's rocket firings.

The plane, believed to be an E-8C nicknamed JSTARS, was spotted in skies above the peninsula, Aircraft Spots said on its Twitter account without specifying the exact time of the operation. It also did not upload a related photo showing its flight route.

As a platform for airborne command and control, surveillance and reconnaissance, the E-8C is known to be capable of closely monitoring North Korea's troops and equipment movements, including missiles and artillery guns.

This type of warplane last flew over South Korea on Thursday.

The U.S. has deployed several other surveillance planes, including U-2S, EP-3C and RC-135V jets, over the peninsula in recent days, as Pyongyang has ratcheted up tensions through military movements.

On Thursday last week, the North test-fired a super-large multiple rocket launcher as the 13th round of major weapons tests so far this year. On Nov. 23, the North carried out coastal artillery firing drills under the guidance of its leader Kim Jong-un on the Yellow Sea border islet of Changrin.

Such acts came ahead of the year-end deadline that Pyongyang set for Washington to show flexibility in nuclear negotiations, which have made little progress since the breakdown of their summit in Hanoi in February.

This image captured from the U.S. air force's website shows America's E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) aircraft. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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