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Korean lawmaker says N. Korea hacked war plans
March 24 2018, 11:30 | Irvin Gilbert
Jim Lo Scalzo /Getty Images
South Korean and US government officials have been raising their guard against more North Korean provocations with the approach of the 72nd anniversary of the founding of North Korea's ruling party, which fell on Tuesday.
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.
An unusually aggressive approach to the North by Trump, which has included rhetoric hinting at US strikes and threatening the destruction of North Korea's leadership, has some South Koreans fearful that war is closer than at any time since the Korean War ended in 1953 in a shaky cease-fire, leaving the Korean Peninsula still technically in a state of war. Defense officials refused to comment when reached by other media.
While North Korea was not able to hack USA power companies, there are concerns among some of observers that the regime may attempt to damage the power grid by detonating a nuclear device at a high altitude above the US, triggering an electromagnetic pulse (EMP).
"While I would not characterize them as the best in the world, they are among the best in the world and the best organized", Army Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, told the Senate a year ago.
North Korea has been conducting regular missile tests in recent months as well as testing a nuclear warhead in September, all part of its bid to establish a nuclear deterrent to what it sees as a military threat from the US.
North Korea is also facing strong sanctions from the US and firm condemnation from the global community in the wake of repeated missile launches and nuclear tests.
The U.S. Air Force bombers and the South Korean fighters then conducted a second firing exercise over the Yellow Sea, according to the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Among the classified plans allegedly stolen from the South were said to be blueprints for targeted attacks by Seoul and Washington to eliminate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un if a crisis breaks out or appears imminent.
"There is an urgent need for the military to change and update parts that were stolen by North Korea", Lee said. Kim is the third generation of his family to rule North Korea. He revealed that around 235 gigabytes of military documents had been stolen from the Defence Integrated Data Centre, and that 80% of them have yet to be identified.