The U. S. Air Force’s special sniffer plane is capable of detecting evidence of a nuclear explosion, NBC News reports.
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.
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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.
“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.”
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 called North Korea a “menace.” He answered a reporter’s question about instability in North Korea by praising China’s president and China’s actions in the region.
“As far as North Korea is concerned, we are in very good shape, ” said Trump. “I respect [President Xi Jinping] 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.”

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