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Trump Discusses 'Range of Options' to Respond to North Korean Aggression
12 October 2017, 12:18 | Darnell Patrick
GETTYThe US are prepared to respond to'any North Korean aggression
A South Korean presidential official said Tuesday's operation was part of a recently agreed upon rotational deployment of US military assets to the peninsula, according to the Yonhap News Agency.
China, North Korea's closest ally, has suggested that Pyongyang freeze its nuclear missile development while the USA stop conducting military exercises with the South that raise fears in North Korea.
"FireEye devices detected and stopped spear phishing emails sent on September 22, 2017, to USA electric companies by known cyber threat actors likely affiliated with the North Korean government", the infosec outfit reported on Tuesday.
Seoul says North Korea has repeatedly staged cyberattacks on South Korean business and government websites.
Trump has responded with a series of bellicose statements, prompting a war of words with Pyongyang, which in turn has threatened to shoot USA bombers out of the sky and fire missiles into the waters near Guam.
The U.S. bombers took off from the Andersen Air Force base in Guam, the U.S. Pacific territory that North Korea singled out as a possible target for a missile strike over the summer, as President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un engaged in bombastic rhetoric and brinkmanship.
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Estimates say that North Korea exports about $3bn worth of goods each year - and the sanctions could eliminate $1bn of that trade. The UN expanded sanctions last month after the sixth and largest nuclear test made by North Korea.
Visits by US warships and bombers along with regular joint exercises with the South infuriate North Korea, which considers them a sign of aggression and a rehearsal for an invasion.
Rep. Lee Cheol-hee, a lawmaker for the ruling Democratic Party who sits on the National Defense Committee, said defense sources told him that North Korean hackers a year ago stole the classified U.S. The aircraft then conducted similar simulated air to ground striking drills off the peninsula's west coast, according to South Korea's Defense Ministry.
North Korea has said Trump is "on a suicide mission" against it, with the country's foreign minister calling the US President "mentally deranged" in a speech at the United Nations last month. Given that set of circumstances, the Kim regime would likely chose to use its nuclear weapons.
Lee said that 235 gigabytes of military documents were taken, but the military has yet to identify 80 percent of the documents that were compromised.
While the officials said the exercises are long scheduled and not in response to recent tensions, similar exercises have prompted strong condemnation from North Korea in the past.
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