S.Korea, US to hold vice-ministerial strategic dialogue next week

Oct 12, 2017, 00:26
S.Korea, US to hold vice-ministerial strategic dialogue next week

This comes after US President Donald Trump last night discussed a "range of options" with his national security team to respond to North Korea's recent nuclear tests.

Senior diplomats of South Korea and the United States will hold a vice-ministerial strategic dialogue next week in Seoul, South Korea's foreign ministry said Wednesday.

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

"FireEye devices detected and stopped spear phishing emails sent on September 22, 2017, to USA electric companies by known cyber threat actors likely affiliated with the North Korean government", the infosec outfit reported on Tuesday.

"In addition, member states will not provide new work authorizations to North Korean nationals to enter and work in their territory as they are suspected of generating revenue which is used to support the country's illegal nuclear and ballistic missile programs", the European Union said in a statement.

The two B-1B bombers were accompanied by two F-15K fighters from the South Korean military after leaving their base in Guam, the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a news release.

At the end of last month, North Korea's foreign minister Ri Yong-ho said that the USA had "declared war" on the authoritarian state and was "right" to shoot down American planes. The aircraft then conducted similar simulated air to ground striking drills off the peninsula's west coast, according to South Korea's Defense Ministry.

The exercises came hours after a South Korean lawmaker claimed North Korean hackers had stolen a large cache of military documents from his country, "including a plan to assassinate North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, and wartime contingency plans drawn up by the US and South Korea", reports the BBC.

Outside governments and worldwide human rights organizations say Kim rules as a tyrant over a largely malnourished and abused population while enjoying a luxurious lifestyle backed up by a weapons program almost advanced enough to viably target the US mainland with nuclear-tipped missiles.

Lee said that 235 gigabytes of military documents were taken, but the military has yet to identify 80 percent of the documents that were compromised. More recently, Seoul accused North Korea of having hacked, stolen and leaked sensitive military secrets and Seoul-Washington war plans.

Information on South Korea's special forces was also reportedly accessed, as well as important details on significant power plants and military facilities in the South.

North Korea has yet to comment on either the bombing drills or the hacking claims.

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