North Korean hackers stole US-South Korea war plans, official says

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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.

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

Late last month, the Air Force sent two B-1Bs over global waters close to the North's east coast.

Only a fifth of that has so far been identified, but within it is the joint US-South Korean plan in the event of war with the North.

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"The Korean-American relationship is very important and our visit to Chinhae gives us the opportunity to strengthen the outstanding relationship that exists between the USA and the Republic of Korea", said Commander Chad Hardt, the submarine's commanding officer, according to a release issued by Pacific Command.

Gen. John Hyten, head of U.S. Strategic Command, has stated that the EMP threat is real, but the military appears more focused on North Korea's ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads.

"Through the practice this time, South Korean and US Air Forces showed off the allies resolve for strong retaliation against North Korea's nuclear and missile threats", it said. The aircraft then conducted similar simulated air to ground striking drills off the peninsula's west coast, according to South Korea's Defense Ministry.

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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North Korea's nuclear weapons program has become the most urgent national security issue during the Trump presidency. But Kim, the third generation of his family to rule, is officially revered in the North, and any suggestion of removing him from power is taken extremely seriously in Pyongyang.

Seoul says North Korea has repeatedly staged cyberattacks on South Korean business and government websites.

A defense source reportedly told the Yonhap news agency that the White House has sent officials to the DMZ to assess potential sites for a planned "special activity" in which the president is "expected to send a significant message to North Korea, either verbally or "kinetically","according to a Reuters report". In 2014, the United States government blamed North Korea for the the hack on Sony Pictures.

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