NORTH KOREA: Does the US know something about Kim’s plans we don’t?
Missile detector plane Cobra Plane is airborne as the world awaits to see if Kim Jong-un will look to end 2017 with a bang.
Spy satellites have detected activity around North Korea allegedly linked to plans by the rogue state to launch a “satellite”.
Fears loom this could be just a cover-up for another missile test – and possibly even Kim’s most daring yet, a rocket fired into the Pacific.
Two public holidays in North Korea have passed unmarked by launches linked to the nuclear programme despite warnings from experts.
Kim is reeling after new UN sanctions were slapped on him aiming to strangle the rogue state and end its quest for ICBMs.
Eric Lafforgue/Exclusivepix Medi
“We will see one more missile test event from North Korea before the end of the year”
Cobra Ball is boasted to be “rapidly deployable” and operates on direct command of the US top brass at the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Two US Air Force pilots crew the plane along with a navigator.
And behind the cockpit is a fuselage packed with seven engineers operating state of the art detection systems.
The plane is tasked with observing missile flights and gathering data on the weapons.
She has a range of 3,900 miles and can fly over 500mph.
HWASONG-15: North Korea has tested dozens of missiles in 2017
KIM JONG-UN: North Korea’s leader is determined to obtain ICBMs to spook the US
Experts have previously predicted the US would rather “watch” Kim’s weapons than shoot them down.
Allowing the missiles to fly before crashed down to Earth allows the US to gather key intel on how far North Korea is from a fully operational ICBM.
Military-tracking feeds have revealed Cobra Ball is currently airborne – but have not revealed its location.
News Dog Media
Kim’s next milestone in his nuclear programme will be to launch a missile out into the Pacific.
This will prove his missile’s range, and make it clears North Korea’s threats to detonate a nuke over the ocean are serious.
Pyongyang’s mission to explode a nuclear weapon over the Pacific is known as the dreaded Juche Bird.
Experts told Daily Star Online the Juche Bird is Trump’s “red line” on North Korea – and could spark a war.
JUCHE BIRD: Is this the next step for North Korea in provoking Donald Trump and the US?
‘Soldiers’ IMPALED in violent North Korean propaganda cartoon‘US soldiers’ get IMPALED in violent North Korean propaganda cartoon
North Korean fishermen get rescued from battered wooden boatNorth Korean fishermen get rescued by Russian fishing trawler Peter Ilyich from their battered wooden boat after spending two nights adrift in freezing waters that killed their captain
Trump vows to take ‘all necessary steps’ against North KoreaDonald Trump vows to take ‘ALL NECESSARY STEPS’ against North Korea
Speaking to Daily Star Online, Michael Madden, founder and director of NK Leadership Watch, predicted another launch before the end of 2017.
He said: “There is a lot of activity in the country now indicating preparations for another missile test although not one of these Hwasong-15s.
“Realistically we will see one more missile test event from North Korea before the end of the year, holiday or not.”
Today, it emerged China is helping North Korea with oil – despite Trump’s calls for them to support the US .