World U.S. Spy Planes Watching for Possible North Korea Nuke Test

01:26  21 april  2017
01:26  21 april  2017 Source:   NBC News

McCain: North Korea 'first real test' for Trump

  McCain: North Korea 'first real test' for Trump How President Trump responds to North Korea's push to develop a nuclear missile capable of striking the United States could be the "first real test" of his administration, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Sunday. If North Korea were to fire a missile at the U.S., "we would have to rely on our ability to intercept it, and by the way, I'm told that we do have that ability," McCain told NBC's "Meet the Press.

The U . S . continues to take active measures to prepare for the possibility of a nuclear test by North Korea , U . S . officials told NBC News, including the deployment of a special nuclear "sniffer" aircraft, drones, and U-2 spy planes .

North Korea is reportedly close to conducting another nuclear test , and the U . S . military moved a spy plane to monitor the area.

Image: Kim Jong Un looks at a rocket warhead tip in this undated photo. ballistic missile © Kim Jong Un looks at a rocket warhead tip in this undated photo. Image: Kim Jong Un looks at a rocket warhead tip in this undated photo. ballistic missile

The U.S. continues to take active measures to prepare for the possibility of a nuclear test by North Korea, U.S. officials told NBC News, including the deployment of a special nuclear "sniffer" aircraft, drones, and U-2 spy planes.

The U.S. Air Force's special sniffer plane is capable of detecting evidence of a nuclear explosion.

Related: U.S. May Not Be Able to Shoot Down North Korean Missiles

Two U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News that North Korea is in a position to conduct a nuclear test with little or no warning.

Volleyball games at North Korean nuke test site: monitor

  Volleyball games at North Korean nuke test site: monitor North Korea watchers said Tuesday they had observed unusual activity at the reclusive country's nuclear test site -- workers playing volleyball. The 38 North monitoring group said satellite imagery captured Sunday showed personnel at the guard barracks and two other areas at the Punggye-ri test site playing the popular game."It suggests that the facility might be going into a standby mode," said Joseph Bermudez, a North Korea expert and an analyst for the Washington-based 38 North.

Military "sniffer" spy planes — probably already in the area because your preparations have been caught by spy satellites North Korea is aware its site is being watched and activity can be staged to create a false alarm. North Korea didn't do an especially good job of obscuring its 2006 test .

Live. Severe weather and tornado watch in Dimmit, TX. Timeline of North Korea ’ s claimed nuclear tests . Japan says it is maintaining high levels of surveillance and taking "every possible measure" to respond to any contingency on the Korean Peninsula Pakistan says Indian spy facing death has right to appeal.

"We expect that they are able to do it at any time, without any real warning," one official said. "They have been engaging in steady preparations."

Image: The WC-135W Constant Phoenix aircraft © The WC-135W Constant Phoenix aircraft collects particulate and gaseous debris from the accessible re... Image: The WC-135W Constant Phoenix aircraft

Related: Trump's Options for North Korea Include Placing Nukes in South Korea

The officials would neither confirm nor deny that the U.S. has detected signs that a test is imminent.

Three U.S. military officials said the Chinese military is currently on a higher alert as part of a nationwide exercise. The exercise is defensive in nature and not focused on the region near North Korea.

During a Thursday press conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, President Trump answered a reporter's question about instability in North Korea by praising China's president and China's actions in the region.

Russia urges 'restraint' over N. Korea tensions: Kremlin

  Russia urges 'restraint' over N. Korea tensions: Kremlin Russia on Friday called for "restraint" over the situation in North Korea, warning against any "provocative steps" after Washington said it was assessing military options in response to the country's weapons programs. "Moscow is watching with great concern the escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists. "We call for restraint from all countries and warn countries not to pursue actions that could consist of any provocative steps," he added.

9, 2016 file photo, a man watches a TV news program reporting North Korea ' s nuclear test at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea . Military "sniffer" spy planes — probably already in the area because your preparations have been caught by spy satellites — will soon be scouring the air for

Military "sniffer" spy planes — probably already in the area because your preparations have been caught by spy satellites — will soon be scouring the air for 9, 2016 file photo, a man watches a TV news program reporting North Korea \' s nuclear test at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea .

"As far as North Korea is concerned, we are in very good shape," said Trump. "I respect [President Xi] very much, and I think he's working very hard… Some very unusual moves have been made over the past two or three hours and I really have confidence that the president will try very hard."

Image: The WC-135W Constant Phoenix aircraft © A WC-135W Constant Phoenix aircraft performs touch and go landing exercises Feb. 12 at Offutt Air Fo... Image: The WC-135W Constant Phoenix aircraft

Trump on North Korea-China relations: 'I realized it's not so easy' .
President Trump acknowledged the complexity and political sensitivity of the relationship between China and North Korea this week, after China's President Xi Jinping explained the countries' relationship to him.Trump told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that he was previously convinced China had "Trump told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that he was previously convinced China had "tremendous power" over North Korea. But after meeting with Xi last week Trump said he "realized it's not so easy.

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