|In this photo taken Feb. 16, 2012, a U.S. Air Force U-2 spy plane takes off during a training flight at the U.S. airbase in Osan, south of Seoul, South Korea. (File photo by=AP/Lee Jin-man)|
[Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] U.S. reconnaissance planes flew over South Korea for the past several days in a row, an aviation tracker showed, in an apparent move to monitor North Korea.
The U.S. Air Force's RC-135W Rivet Joint was spotted flying over the western city of Incheon and the metropolitan areas early Monday, according to the tracker, No callsign. It specializes in detecting telemetry signals before missile launches and analyzing trajectories of warheads. Later that day, one EO-5C Crazy Hawk aircraft, along with three A-10 Thunderbolt II fighters and two KC-135R aerial tankers, was also spotted over South Korea. Over the weekend, the U.S. military flew the E-8C, or JSTARS, over South Korea's Yellow Sea and western regions, according to the aviation tracker.
The E-8C is also known to be capable of closely monitoring the movements of North Korean troops and equipment, including missiles and artillery guns. The flights came amid speculation that the communist country could undertake provocations, such as missile launches, around the inauguration of the U.S. President-elect Joe Biden next month. Experts say the deployment of those reconnaissance aircraft would be part of their regular operations, but the U.S. might have let some of them be spotted intentionally to send a message of pressure to the North.