World News

South Korea claims North hacked nuclear attack response plans

South Korea claims North hacked nuclear attack response plans

The air-to-ground missile maneuvers near the South Korean coast were intentionally scheduled for North Korea's communist party's anniversary.

The Air Force said Tuesday's overflight demonstrated how US military forces "are always ready to defend the American homeland and how the USA stands resolutely with Japan and [South Korea] to honor their unshakeable alliance commitments to safeguard security and stability".

Democratic Party representative Rhee Cheol-hee said in radio appearances yesterday that 235 gigabytes of military documents were taken from the Defense Integrated Data Center in September a year ago, citing information from unnamed South Korean defence officials.

The Pentagon also declined to comment specifically on reports of the potential breach, but spokesman Col. Robert Manning said on Tuesday that the United States is "confident in the security of our operations plans and our ability to deal with any threat from North Korea".

The United States, meanwhile, staged another show of force meant to deter any North Korean aggression by flying two B-1B supersonic bombers Tuesday night from an air base in the US territory of Guam to the South for drills with South Korean fighter jets.

Visits by US warships and bombers along with regular joint exercises with the South infuriate North Korea, which considers them a sign of aggression and a rehearsal for an invasion.

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The B-1B Lancers, which flew from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, were joined by South Korean fighter jets after entering the Korean Air Defense Identification Zone about 8:50 p.m. Tuesday, the South Korean military said.

But neither side is budging in the standoff.

While US Secretary of Defense James Mattis reiterated this week that diplomacy along with global economic sanctions would remain the leading element of US strategy towards blunting North Korea, military options were being prepared. Lee, who didn't specify his sources, said the plans allegedly stolen by the North include operations for tracking the movement of the North's leadership, isolating their hideouts, executing air assaults and follow-up actions for securing and eliminating targets, which would obviously include North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Russia's TASS news agency quoted North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho as saying: "With his bellicose and insane statement at the United Nations, Trump, you can say, has lit the wick of a war against us".

-South Korean wartime "decapitation strike" plans against the North, according to South Korean media reports.

There is no evidence that the attacks were successful, and cybersecurity experts believe that North Korea lacks the ability to disrupt the power grid.


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