North Korean hackers are believed to have stolen a large amount of classified military documents, including a South Korean-U.S. plan to “decapitate” its leadership, according to South Korean media.
The media reports suggest Democratic Party Rep. Lee Cheol-hee said the hackers broke into South Korea’s Defense Integrated Data Center, which stores digital military data, in September 2016 to steal the secret files.
Among the files was Operational Plan 5015. That plan relates to the latest Seoul-Washington plan to handle an all-out war with Pyongyang, which reportedly contains detailed procedures to ‘decapitate’ the North Korean leadership. Another stolen file, Operational Plan 3100, is Seoul’s plan to respond to the North’s localized provocations.
The South Korean lawmaker, a member of the ruling party, cited unidentified defense officials as being the sources of information on the hack. He said that 235 gigabytes worth of military documents were taken, and nearly 80 percent had yet to be identified.
“Also among them were contingency plans for the South’s special forces, reports to allies’ top commanders, and information on key military facilities and power plants,” he said.
The Democratic Party, led by President Moon Jae-in, came to power in the May election after the impeachment of Park Geun-hye, who was head of the Saenuri Party. The reported hacking took place while she was president.
Meanwhile, the U.S. military flew two Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers over the Korean Peninsula in a show of force late on Tuesday amid high tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, South Korea’s military have revealed.
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 on
After entering South Korean airspace, the two bombers carried out air-to-ground missile drills in waters off the east coast of South Korea, then flew over the South to waters between it and China to repeat the drill, the release said.
The South Korean military said this was part of a regular exercise to bolster military defences and also to display the alliance between the United States and South Korea.
North Korea is widely expected to conduct another missile test within the next ten days to mark two major political events.
Some kind of provocation could arrive as early as Tuesday, Oct. 10, as the rogue nation celebrates the 72nd anniversary of its ruling Workers Party, experts said. Oct. 18, which marks the beginning of China’s 19th Party Congress, could be another ideal opportunity for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to act out against stinging sanctions.
Both events are “good opportunities for Kim to make headlines, and intelligence suggest that Pyongyang is moving missiles to prepare for another test,” said Scott Seaman, Asia director at political consultancy Eurasia, in a recent note.
Russian lawmaker Anton Morozov, fresh from a visit to the nuclear-armed state, said he believes Kim “intends to launch one more long-range missile in the near future,” Russia’s RIA news agency reported last week. “They are preparing for new tests of a long-range missile. They even gave us mathematical calculations that they believe prove that their missile can hit the West Coast of the United States,” RIA quoted him as saying.