North Korea hackers stole South Korea-US war plans: Lawmaker

North Korea hackers steal South Korea war plans

Late last month the US flew B-1Bs over global waters close to North Korea's east coast. Joined by South Korean F-15K fighters, the B-1Bs simulated air to ground missile firing over the East Sea.

It was part of a "regular deployment training" aimed at enhancing the capability of implementing the "extended deterrence" against the North, the JCS said.

USA military leaders say North Korea has all the components but has not demonstrated it can put them all together effectively. Such flights by the powerful aircraft based in Guam incense the North, which claims they are preparation for war; Pyongyang has threatened to send missiles into the waters around Guam.

The briefing by his defence secretary James Mattis and top military officer General Joseph Dunford "focused on a range of options to respond to any form of North Korean aggression or, if necessary, to prevent North Korea from threatening the United States and its allies with nuclear weapons", according to a brief statement from the White House.

"Ladies and gentlemen, it is right now a diplomatically-led, economically sanction-buttressed effort to try to turn North Korea off this path", he said. Pyongyang belatedly responded by relocating some of its military aircraft to its east coast, the National Intelligence Service then said.

A pre-emptive strike against Pyongyang's leadership would be hard to undertake, but it's widely seen as the most realistic of the limited military options Seoul has to deny a nuclear attack from its rival.

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Hackers linked to North Korea reportedly targeted US electric power companies, according to a leading cybersecurity firm. Kim is the third generation of his family to rule North Korea.

Trump has engaged in an escalating war of words with North Korean strongman Kim Jong-Un, trading insults amid rising tensions between the two nuclear-armed rivals.

"If the North Koreans in fact accessed the US/South Korean defense plans, this is a treasure trove of information and presents a real danger", said CNN military analyst and retired Lt. Col. Rick Francona.

According to South Korea's Yonhap news agency this is not the first time the communist regime to the north has launched a tirade of cyber attacks on the country, with hacks targeting government websites and facilities being commonplace in recent years.

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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