North Korean hackers suspected to have targeted USA electric power companies

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Meanwhile, China - North Korea's closest ally and trading partner - expressed alarm at how far the rhetoric on both sides had gone, warning of the increased risk of a "fatal misjudgement"."The global community won't accept North Korea as a nuclear power".

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 show of force happened Tuesday as President Donald Trump met with his national security team to discuss options for dealing with the growing threat from the North.

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North Korean hackers reportedly stole thousands of military documents detailing war plans of South Korea and the U.S., including plans to assassinate Kim Jong-un.

According to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff in a statement on Wednesday, the two U.S. Air Force B-1B bombers were joined by two F-15K fighters from the South Korean military after leaving their base in Guam. The US said Japan's Air Force also took part in the drill. The aircraft then conducted similar simulated air to ground striking drills off the peninsula's west coast, according to South Korea's Defense Ministry. In a speech at the United Nations in September, the US President accused the North Korean leader Kim of being "on a suicide mission" - while Kim responded by vowing to "tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire".

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 has launched two missiles over Japan and conducted its sixth and biggest nuclear test in recent weeks in defiance of U.N. sanctions as it races towards its goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the United States. Kim is the third generation of his family to rule North Korea.

South Korean news agency Yonhap has reported "blackout bombs" have been created to paralyse the North's power grid by spreading chemically treated carbon graphite filaments.

About 235 gigabytes worth of military data was stolen by the hackers, Rhee said.

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His predecessor, Barack Obama, visited Observation Post Ouellette in 2012, peering into North Korea through bulletproof glass and a pair of binoculars. In 2014, the USA government blamed North Korea for the the hack on Sony Pictures.

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