​​​​​​​US Sends 4 Spy Planes Over N.Korea, But Ominous Christmas 'Gift' Didn't Come

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Dec 25, 2019 - 09:45 PM

Given it's now Dec. 26 in Korea, it looks like Kim Jong Un's promised "Christmas gift" — or what many thought would be a long-range missile test — never arrived. Perhaps this was the actual gift in the most optimistic scenario: a softening of tensions and willingness to back down in the hope that nuclear talks would warm in this holiday season headed into 2020. 

However, it's not too late for some kind of "late present" brought by 'Santa Kim' given the following provocative US action on Christmas Day no less, as the Pentagon was likely closely monitoring to see if a 'gift' was being readied on the ground, via The Hill:

The United States flew four surveillance planes over the Korean peninsula Wednesday, according to an aviation tracker, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.

...The U.S. flew four aircraft, the RC-135W Rivet Joint, E-8C, RQ-4 Global Hawk and RC-135S Cobra Ball, over the country between Tuesday and early Wednesday. The planes were believed to have carried out missions in and around the Korean Peninsula, Yonhap reported.

USAF Rivet Joint surveillance plane. 

Yonhap further called the flyovers "unusual" and said it shows Washington took Pyongyang's threatened Christmas "surprise" seriously. 

Per the report

Military sources confirmed to the news outlet that South Korea and the U.S. have strengthened efforts against the possibility of North Korea firing an ICBM or other weapons.

"We're keeping a close watch over military moves in North Korea," said one of the sources, who the outlet declined to name.

On Tuesday just ahead of Christmas celebrations at Mar-a-Lago, President Trump held out hope the 'gift' could turn out to be something positive. 

“Let’s see what happens. Everybody’s got surprises for me, but let’s see what happens. I handle them as they come along,” Trump told reporters.

Illustration via Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

“We’ll see what happens,” Trump added. “Maybe it’s a nice present. maybe it’s a present where he sends me a beautiful vase as opposed to a missile test.”

But who knows just how North Korea will interpret the Christmas Day spy plane flyover? Perhaps Kim will take it as a sign of bad faith and will determine a potential belated holiday gift accordingly.