U.S. Spy Aircraft Scrambled After Liaison Office Blowup

      June 22, 2020 12:59

      An RC-135U Combat Sent spy aircraft from the U.S. was spotted flying over Japan right after North Korea blew up the cross-border liaison office in Kaesong, according to a South Korean military source on Sunday.

      The RC-135U Combat Sent, one of only two the American Air Force has, was dispatched to Kadena Air Base on Okinawa from the U.S. mainland on May 30.

      The aircraft collects strategic intelligence data of various kinds from hundreds of kilometers away and reports them to the U.S. government in real time.

      Meanwhile, a 16 m-long object spotted at the Sinpo shipyard in the North Korean province of South Hamgyong late last month could be a "midget" submarine, the website 38 North at Johns Hopkins University suggested on June 19.

      It said recent commercial satellite imagery shows that "the unusual object that was present on the quay of the secure boat basin on May 27 remains in the same place." But it added, "Its length precludes the notion it is a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) canister since North Korea's Pukguksong-1 SLBM is only approximately 8.5 meters long with a canister about 10-11 meters long."

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