SEOUL, Dec. 11 (Yonhap) -- The United States again flew a surveillance aircraft over the Korean Peninsula, an aviation tracker said Wednesday, the latest in a series of flights to monitor North Korea amid growing concern Pyongyang may be preparing for a long-range rocket launch.
The RQ-4 Global Hawk was spotted over the Korean Peninsula at 52,000 feet, Aircraft Spots said on its Twitter account without specifying the exact time of the operation.
Global Hawk is a high-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle capable of performing reconnaissance missions in the air for more than 30 hours at a time. It is considered one of the most advanced intelligence-gathering platforms in the world.
The latest U.S. Air Force operation came amid heightened tensions on the peninsula after North Korea conducted a rocket engine test at its satellite launch site over the weekend, deepening concerns it could resume testing intercontinental ballistic missiles.
North Korea has been ramping up pressure on the United States, stressing that the year-end deadline Pyongyang has set for Washington to come up with a new proposal in their nuclear negotiations is drawing near.
In recent weeks, the U.S. has deployed several types of surveillance planes over the peninsula, including its Navy's P-3C maritime surveillance plane, the RC-135U Combat Sent, the RC-135W Rivet Joint, the RC-135S Cobra Ball aircraft and the E-8C aircraft.
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