JSTARS Sent to Korean Peninsula

The Air Force has dispatched the JSTARS ground-surveillance aircraft to monitor North Korean military moves amid rising tensions on the Korean peninsula, according to press reports. Defense Secretary Robert Gates approved the South Korean request for the aircraft, reports London’s The Telegraph. Last week, North Korean artillery shelled the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong in the Yellow Sea in an unprovoked attack, killing several inhabitants. On Sunday, the United States and South Korea began a four-day Yellow Sea naval exercise featuring the USS George Washington and its strike group. Briefing reporters last week in Washington, D.C., Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, said South Korea and its allies have considerable air power in the North Pacific region. “That is something North Korea needs to be respectful of,” he said. (See AFPS report by Lisa Daniel and AFP report)