Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Trump Turns Tables on North Korea

Trump Turns Tables on North Korea

The US military said in a separate statement it conducted drills with Japanese fighters after the exercise with South Korea, making it the first time US bombers have conducted training with fighters from both Japan and South Korea at night.

On Saturday, a USA nuclear-powered Los Angeles-class attack submarine arrived in South Korea.

On Wednesday, the US and South Korea flew two strategic bombers over the Korean peninsula in a joint military exercise - another show of force against Pyongyang amid the mounting tensions.

North Korea watchers have been on alert for a possible provocation by the communist state in the days surrounding a key holiday Tuesday to mark the founding anniversary of its ruling party. Four months later, the USA and North Korea signed the Agreed Framework, under which the North would eventually dismantle its nuclear program.

The secretive state has been suspected of carrying out cyber attacks on South Korean electric utilities as well as on other government and financial institutions.

On Monday, Trump's Defense Secretary James Mattis said at the annual meeting of the Association of the United States Army that the U.S. Army should "be ready" for a potential war with North Korea.

The defense minister announced, meanwhile, that a group of Australian military forces will soon arrive in South Korea as part of its Indo-Pacific defense activities.

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In a tweet on Saturday, the president stated, "Only one thing will work" and an aide told the media that Trump is telegraphing that "military options are on the table".

The two US Air Force B-1B bombers were joined by two F-15K fighters from the South Korean military after leaving their base in Guam, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement on Wednesday. The aircraft then conducted similar simulated air to ground striking drills off the peninsula's west coast, according to South Korea's Defense Ministry. Lee, who didn't specify his sources, said the plans allegedly stolen by the North include operations for tracking the movement of the North's leadership, isolating their hideouts, executing air assaults and follow-up actions for securing and eliminating targets, which would obviously include North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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.

FireEye thinks that the attacks are a result of the soaring tensions between Pyongyang and Washington following the hermit nation's ballistic missile tests and nuclear programmes. But Kim, the third generation of his family to rule, is officially revered in the North, and any suggestion of removing him from power is taken extremely seriously in Pyongyang.

Lim and Sullivan are expected to discuss cooperation on major issues including their bilateral relations and North Korea's nuclear program.

Australia's government said separately an unidentified defence contractor had been hacked and a "significant amount of data" stolen.

Professor Park, who first claimed that Carter is considering travelling to Pyongyang, has visited North Korea on at least 50 occasions and Shigemura suggested that the idea may have actually originated in Pyongyang.

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