- WC-135 Constant Phoenix landed at Kadena Air Base near Okinawa on Tuesday
- Plane spotter saw aircraft leave day later with a tanker aircraft before returning
- Sighting comes after North Korea tested sixth nuclear weapon on September 3
American ‘nuke sniffer’ planes used to detect radioactive fallout have been sent to Japan in the wake of Kim Jong-un’s missile tests.
A WC-135 Constant Phoenix, which can test for radioactive debris after a nuclear explosion, landed at the USA’s Kadena Air Base near Okinawa on Tuesday.
Local plane spotter Satoru Kuba saw the aircraft leave a day later alongside a tanker aircraft before parking up on its return.
A WC-135 Constant Phoenix, which can test for radioactive debris after a nuclear explosion, landed at the USA’s Kadena Air Base near Okinawa on Tuesday. This is a file photo
The sighting of the plane, which can also track ballistic missiles, was reported by Stars and Stripes.
It comes after North Korea tested its sixth nuclear weapon on September 3.
This was the most powerful nuclear test yet and described as a ‘complete success’ by Pyongyang.
North Korea has a long-stated aim of developing a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach the USA.
The country is reportedly preparing to test-fire a ICBM on Saturday, its national day, after two launches in July.
This is not the first time a WC-135 Constant Phoenix has been deployed to near the Korean Peninsula.
In April, the special purpose aircraft made an emergency sortie over the East Sea after fears – since disproved – that North Korea had detonated a nuclear device.
A government source told Yonhap News at the time: ‘The WC-135 Constant Phoenix, a special purpose U.S. plane, made an emergency sortie today over the East Sea.’
The sighting comes after North Korea tested its sixth nuclear weapon on September 3