Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Economy | By Guillermo Lane

USA flies strategic bombers over Korean peninsula

USA flies strategic bombers over Korean peninsula

On Tuesday, a South Korean lawmaker said North Korean hackers had reportedly stolen a large cache of military documents from his country, including a wartime contingency plans drawn up by the US and South Korea.

Rhee Cheol-hee, a member of the ruling Democratic Party in South Korea, said hackers stole a blueprint for "Operations Plan 5015" among other things. Trump has been tough on North Korea as the regime has fired a series of ballistic missiles and conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test in recent months.

"It is the steadfast will of all the service personnel and people of the DPRK (North Korea) to shower fire on the US", Ri said.

U.S. president Donald Trump has "lit the wick of war" with North Korea and his country will be made to pay with "a hail of fire", a Russian news agency quoted North Korea's foreign minister as saying on Wednesday.

If confirmed, the reported hacking attack by the North would be a major blow for South Korea at a time when its relations with rival North Korea are at a low point.

"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.

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North Korea's nuclear weapons development is spooking most Americans, and two-thirds of them say President Donald Trump's war of words with the isolated nation's leader is making the situation worse.

US B-1 bombers flying from Guam have been seen regularly over the Korean Peninsula amid escalating tensions with Pyongyang - running regular training flights with Japanese and South Korean fighter jets that often provoke the ire of the North Korean regime.

U.S. officials have voiced their concern that Kim Jong-un's nation could launch cyber attacks on American infrastructure. Some military experts believe that power supply problems make it hard for North Korea to turn on its air defense radars for 24 hours a day and also that the systems might struggle to effectively track advanced warplanes such as B-1Bs, which have low radar-cross sections. "It is also consistent with the view of many other members of the global community to lessen, reduce or completely diminish any diplomatic relationship with North Korea".

Trump slammed more than two decades of USA policy toward North Korea on Twitter on Monday, saying past action to quell the crisis "didn't work".

"We strongly urge North Korea and the United States to stop their bellicose posturing and seriously think about a peaceful solution", it said. The US said Japan's Air Force also took part in the drill.

USA defense officials have told CNN that the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan will conduct scheduled exercises with the South Korean navy off the peninsula at the end of this month.

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