Following up to the Christmas week, the United States flew four surveillance planes over the Korean Peninsula as the year-end deadline set by Pyongyang for Washington to soften its stance in stalled talks approaches. North Korea threatened to give Washington a "Christmas gift" if the Trump-led government failed to make concessions in nuclear talks with the country. Following this "Christmas gift" threat, the USA decided to fly four American surveillance planes to conduct missions around the Korean Peninsula at the same time, which is not usual.
The four aircraft, namely RC-135W Rivet Joint, E-8C, RQ-4 Global Hawk and RC-135S Cobra Ball, were believed to have "carried out missions over and around the Korean Peninsula", South Korean news agency, Yonhap News reported. These missions were carried out between Tuesday and early Wednesday (local time).
North Korea is facing sanctions from the United States and had threatened Washington of unspecified action, calling it a ‘Christmas gift’. Speculations are rife that North Korea might test an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead. South Korean troops and the United States special forces reportedly conducted drills simulating the infiltration of an enemy facility as tensions with North Korea rise ahead of a year-end deadline. North Korea had recently conducted a nuclear test at the Sohae launch site by going against the process of denuclearisation which drew ire of Trump administration.
US President Donald Trump was asked about the ‘gift’ after he finished thanking the service members from the military via satellite on December 24. US President Donald Trump said that he is waiting for the ‘Christmas gift’ promised by Pyongyang. Trump further took a dig at North’s supreme leader Kim Jong Un saying the latter must be planning to gift something ‘nice’ such as a “beautiful vase” and not a missile launch. “Maybe it’s a present where he sends me a beautiful vase as opposed to a missile test,” Trump said. “I may get a nice present from him. You don’t know. You never know.”