North Korea Says Trump Lit 'Fuse of War', Russian News Agency Reports

Gladys Abbott
October 13, 2017

Two supersonic US bombers flew over the Korean Peninsula in their first nighttime training mission with South Korean forces, a clear warning to North Korea as tensions spike over its nuclear weapons program.

On Tuesday, a South Korean lawmaker said North Korean hackers had reportedly stolen a large cache of military documents from his country, including a wartime contingency plans drawn up by the USA and South Korea.

The air-to-ground missile maneuvers near the South Korean coast were intentionally scheduled for North Korea's communist party's anniversary.

According to Reuters, North Korea has launched two missiles over Japan and conducted its sixth nuclear test in recent weeks as it fast advances toward its goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the us mainland.

The bilateral training mission between the U.S. B-1B bombers and South Korean F-15K fighter jets on Tuesday night followed a September 23 mission in which US bombers and fighter escorts used pre-dawn hours to fly to the farthest point of the border between North and South Korea by any USA aircraft this century.

At the end of last month, North Korea's foreign minister Ri Yong-ho said that the U.S. had "declared war" on the authoritarian state and was "right" to shoot down American planes.

The Defense Ministry after an investigation said in May that North Korea was likely behind the hacking of the Defense Integrated Data Center in September previous year, but had refused to confirm media speculation that the decapitation strike plan was compromised.

Ri also said that North Korea's nuclear programme was the "precious fruition of the Korean people's bloody struggle for defending the destiny and sovereignty of the country from the protracted nuclear threat of the USA imperialists and a treasured sword of justice".

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North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho made his remarks in an interview to the Russian news agency TASS on Wednesday.

Ri's comments are likely to continue to fuel a mounting war of words between Trump and Kim.

On Tuesday, Mr Trump met with Defence Secretary James Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joe Dunford to discuss a "range of options to respond to any form of North Korean aggression", according to the White House.

Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam will hold strategic talks with visiting U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan on October 18 in Seoul, according to Seoul's foreign ministry. It is also unclear as to whether the hackers' activities point to a specific and/or known North Korean hacker group's involvement.

China, North Korea's main ally and trading partner, has consistently argued sanctions alone will not work, urging Washington and Pyongyang to lower their rhetoric and return to the negotiating table.

U.S. operations out of Guam are particularly provocative, as most suggestions are that a real U.S. attack on North Korea would come from warplanes out of Guam.

The US bombers had taken off from the Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. Other stolen data included contingency plans for South Korean special forces and information on military facilities and power plants, he said.

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