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Nuke-sniffer aircraft arrives on Okinawa as tensions rise on Korean peninsula

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Stars & Stripes
April 12, 2017

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A U.S. aircraft that specializes in detecting radioactive debris after the detonation of a nuclear device has arrived on Okinawa amid rising tensions on the Korean peninsula.

An Air Force WC-135 Constant Phoenix — commonly referred to as a nuke-sniffer — arrived at Kadena Air Base last Friday evening, said Satoru Kuba, an Okinawan who monitors military aircraft traffic at Kadena Air Base.

A spokesperson for the Air Force’s 18th Wing at Kadena did not immediately respond to requests for comment, and Japan’s Ministry of Defense would not immediately verify the report.

However, a senior Japan Self-Defense Forces official confirmed the aircraft’s arrival, according to a report Wednesday by Japan’s Nikkei newspaper.

The Pentagon has often deployed one of the Air Force’s two WC-135 aircraft to the Asia-Pacific region since North Korea detonated an underground nuclear device in 2006. The plane also flew over Japan in 2011 after the meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, according to the Washington Post.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 7:54 am

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