According to Aircraft Spots, two E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) aircraft landed at the Kadena Air Base in the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa on Sunday to allegedly “resume missions over the Korean Peninsula.”
— Aircraft Spots (@AircraftSpots) October 5, 2019
Either one or both aircraft flew over Japan Wednesday for a “Korean Peninsula mission,” according to the aviation tracker. The E-8C can collect information on North Korea’s “troops and equipment movements,” according to the Korea Times.
The mission marks the first time the US has sent surveillance aircraft to the Kadena Air Base since early 2018. However, the US has continued to dispatch its reconnaissance plane, the RC-135W Rivet Joint, over South Korea.
On October 2, North Korea fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile, marking the country’s 11th weapons test so far this year. Meanwhile, renewed talks between Washington and Pyongyang fell apart last weekend, according to the North’s chief nuclear negotiator, Kim Myong Gil.
In June 2018, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump reached an agreement stipulating that North Korea would make efforts to promote the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for the freezing of US-South Korean military drills and the potential removal of US sanctions. However, the negotiations stalled this year over Pyongyang's continued missile tests and how to ensure denuclearization, Sputnik reported.