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.
Senior diplomats of the United States, Japan and South Korea are to meet on October 18 in Seoul to discuss North Korea's evolving nuclear and missile threats, according to the South Korean foreign ministry. Pyongyang has historically conducted tests on noteworthy anniversaries and holidays such as a missile test on July 4 for America's Independence Day.
In addition to the missile tests, it has conducted six nuclear tests since 2006, including the most powerful one on September 3.
US military leaders say North Korea has all the components but has not demonstrated it can put them all together effectively.
The Air Force said Tuesday's overflight demonstrated how US military forces "are always ready to defend the American homeland and how the USA stands resolutely with Japan and [South Korea] to honor their unshakeable alliance commitments to safeguard security and stability".
It would mark the first such talks since the U.S. Chad Hardt, commanding officer.
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Late last month, the Air Force sent two B-1Bs over worldwide waters close to the North's east coast.
Reports of reconnaissance on U.S. utilities follow earlier reports alleging DPRK spies stole a large cache of military documents from South Korea, including a plan to assassinate North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un. Such flights by the powerful aircraft based in Guam incense the North, which claims they are preparation for war; Pyongyang has threatened to send missiles into the waters around Guam.
At the time, the Pentagon's chief spokesman said the mission was in response to North Korea's recent ICBM and nuclear tests.
A White House reconnaissance team scouted potential destinations including "around Panmunjom and Observation Post Ouellette", the source said.
The Pentagon also declined to comment specifically on reports of the potential breach, but spokesman Col. Robert Manning said on Tuesday that the USA is "confident in the security of our operations plans and our ability to deal with any threat from North Korea".