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‘US plans spy plane use during Seoul forum’

Last Updated: Sunday, March 11, 2012 - 16:11

Seoul: The United States plans to send a
military spy plane to South Korea to detect potential attacks
by the North during a global nuclear forum to be held in Seoul
later this month, a report said on Sunday.

The US and South Korean militaries are discussing
deploying a high-flying J-STARS (joint surveillance and target
attack system) aircraft during the Seoul Nuclear Security
Summit on March 26-27, Yonhap news agency said.

It added that monitoring of the communist North had been
strengthened ahead of the forum, which involves more than 50
heads of states including US President Barack Obama.

"Military readiness will be maintained at the highest
level to guard against potential attacks via land, sea and the
air as well as cyber attacks," Yonhap quoted an unnamed senior
Seoul military official as saying.

J-STARS aircraft fly as high as 12 kilometres altitude,
cruise at Mach 0.8, and can monitor the North`s military
activities including troop movements, artillery and
surface-to-surface missiles.

The aircraft type was deployed in a huge US-South joint
military drill held in November 2010 after the North`s deadly
shelling of a border island.

South Korea says the upcoming summit will focus on ways
to safeguard atomic material worldwide and prevent acts of
nuclear terrorism.

But the North has blasted the event as an "unsavoury
burlesque" intended to justify an atomic attack by South Korea
and its ally US.


First Published: Sunday, March 11, 2012 - 16:11
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