North Korean hackers suspected to have targeted U.S. electric power companies

The South Korean military added that the regular deployment training is aimed at enhancing extended deterrence capabilities against North Korea. The South Korean defence ministry has so far refused to comment on the breach, which reportedly dates back to last September. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff say the bombers flew from Anderson Air Force base in Guam and entered the Korean Air Defense Identification Zone at around 8:50 p.m.

Late last month, the USA flew B-1Bs over global waters close to the North's east coast.

Tensions between North Korea and the United States have risen in recent weeks over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and missile programs.

And North Korea has denied this, and accused South Korea of "fabricating" the claims.

North Korean hackers stole strategic plans drawn up by South Korea and the United States on how they would respond to an attack by the rogue regime as well as details of a "decapitation" plan to assassinate President Kim Jong Un, according to a report on Tuesday.

Joined by South Korean F-15K fighters, the B-1Bs simulated air to ground missile firing over the East Sea.

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Visits by USA 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. 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.

After Pyongyang launched a missile test that flew over Japan in late August, the state-run Korean Central News Agency said the test was "a meaningful prelude to containing Guam", which it called the "advanced base of invasion" for USA forces.

About 235 gigabytes worth of military data was stolen by the hackers, Rhee told CNN. Other stolen data included contingency plans for South Korean special forces and information on military facilities and power plants, he said.

Pictured: North Korea's intermediate-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 lifting off from the launching pad at an undisclosed location near Pyongyang.

The information, that included wartime contingency plans drawn up by the US and South Korea, was from the country's defence ministry, according to Rhee Cheol-hee, a South Korean lawmaker.

  • Marjorie Miles