USA bombers fly over Korean Peninsula in 1st night joint training drills
00:09, Oct 13, 2017
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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.
South Korean analysts say the nighttime flights, and also the decisions by Washington and Seoul to release the itinerary of the warplanes, are aimed at sending a clear warning to North Korea and demonstrating capability for surprise attacks.
The North/South joint venture with South Korea was suspended a year ago to punish the Kim Jong Un government for conducting nuclear and missile tests, and to cut off a possible source of funding for Pyongyang's illicit weapons development program.
USA operations out of Guam are particularly provocative, as most suggestions are that a real United States attack on North Korea would come from warplanes out of Guam.
Trump slammed more than two decades of US policy toward North Korea on Twitter on Monday, saying past action to quell the crisis "didn't work".
Rhee Cheol-Hee, a lawmaker for the ruling Democratic party, said the hackers had broken into the South's military network last September and gained access to 235 gigabytes of sensitive data, the Chosun Ilbo daily reported.
US and South Korean wartime operational plans, including a plan to wipe out the North Korean leadership, were stolen by North Korean hackers past year, a South Korean ruling party lawmaker said on Wednesday.
In his speech before the United Nations General Assembly in September, Trump said the USA will "totally destroy" North Korea if it pushes ahead with its development of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The four aircraft then flew across the peninsula and staged another round of a firing exercise over the Yellow Sea before the two B-IBs returned home, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.
The defense minister announced, meanwhile, that a group of Australian military forces will soon arrive in South Korea as part of its Indo-Pacific defense activities.
FireEye thinks that the attacks are a result of the soaring tensions between Pyongyang and Washington following the hermit nation's ballistic missile tests and nuclear programmes. Last month he got China to agree to new U.N. Security Council sanctions on North Korea. China's influential Global Times tabloid expressed alarm at how far the rhetoric on both sides had gone and how it had increased the risk of a "fatal misjudgment". "This positive process is worth a try", the paper said in an editorial late on Tuesday. "So as owners with rights to the assets, it is necessary for us to check the situation and status of our assets and find out whether the complex is really being operated or not", said Kim Seo-jin, with the Kaesong Industrial Complex Association.
When it first opened in 2004, the Kaesong complex, located about 54 kilometers northwest of Seoul, was meant to promote inter-Korean development and give North Korean workers a taste of life in the south, including snack foods like the cakes known as Choco Pies and toiletries that were resold as luxury items in the North.
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