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‘Doomsday Plane’ flies to Japan along with Biden’s trip to S. Korea

‘Doomsday Plane’ flies to Japan along with Biden’s trip to S. Korea

Posted May. 21, 2022 07:34,   

Updated May. 21, 2022 07:34


With U.S. President Joe Biden headed to South Korea, the E-4B, dubbed the Nuclear National Airborne Operations Center, was deployed to the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan.

When the U.S. president travels overseas, an E-4B aircraft is customarily deployed on standby in a visiting country or a nearby region. However, it is a rare occasion where its flight route and destination are openly released, which seemingly intends to issue a warning against North Korea as it has arguably prepared to launch an ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) and test nuclear weapons with President Biden’s visit to South Korea and his summit talk with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol scheduled on Saturday in mind.

An E-4B run by the U.S. Air Force left the Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Thursday night (KST) to get the Kadena Base on Thursday afternoon, reported a military aircraft tracking website on Friday. It was deployed to Japan around the same time as the arrival of Air Force One at the Osan Air Base in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea, with President Biden onboard. The “nightwatch” aircraft takes charge of operations concerning all nuclear forces including ICBMs, nuclear bombers and nuclear submarines as well as forces on the ground, at sea and in the air in case of any nuclear war. That explains why it is dubbed “Doomsday Plane.”

The E-4B is equipped inside and outside with innovative defense systems that protect electronic devices against a nuclear electromagnetic pulse arising out of nuclear explosion. President Biden is onboard during wartime but it is used in peace time for the U.S. defense secretary and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff to travel overseas. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin draw attention when he visited South Korea on an E-4B in March last year. “Exceptionally, the U.S. government makes an E-4B itinerary publicly open on a presidential trip outside the nation,” said a military insider, interpreting it as a warning against North Korea’s nuclear and ICBM provocations that may happen on President Biden’s trip to South Korea and Japan.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com