Pyongyang media projects the theft as bold act of cyber army
The tussle between North Korea and US along with its allies has taken an ugly turn Tuesday when a South Korean Lawmaker has alleged that North Korean hackers have stolen classified military documents from South Korean Defense Ministry database in September 2016. It contained South Korea-US wartime plan and procedures to “decapitate” the North Korean leadership.
However, North Korea Times, introduced the story saying, “In a bold hacking, North Korea’s cyber army broke into enemy files and is said to have found elaborate plans laid out by US and South Korea to decapitate the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un.
According to CNN, Rahee Cheol-hee, a member of South Korea’s National Assembly, belonging to ruling Democratic Party, disclosed about the data lost claiming that the information was received from Defence Ministry. He said that about 235 gigabytes worth of military data was stolen by the North Korean hackers.
However, South Korea’s Defence Ministry spokesman has declined to comment on Tuesday, saying the information was classified.
US administration also tried to maintain silence on the specifics of the alleged cyber hacking on Tuesday. Pentagon spokesman Colonel Robert Manning declined to comment on the issue. Instead, he said that the US is “confident in the security of our operations plans and our ability to deal with any threat from North Korea.”
The Pentagon official chose not to go into details. He said, “I’m not going to address the specifics of that discussion but what I will tell you is that it is a ROK-US alliance commitment to make sure that they safeguard operations and plans.” South Korea is officially known as Republic of Korea (ROK).
The CNN, while quoting its military analyst and retired Colonel Rick Francona, said, “If the North Koreans in fact accessed the US/South Korean defense plans, this is a treasure trove of information and presents a real danger.”
The details of the alleged 2016 hack by North Koreans have emerged at a time when US President Donald Trump has been arguing “Only one thing will work” against North Korea saying : “Our country has been unsuccessfully dealing with North Korea for 25 years, giving billions of dollars & getting nothing. Policy didn’t work.”
Trump has recently criticized Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for “wasting his time” for supporting diplomacy for resolving North Korea issue.
Meanwhile, White House on Tuesday disclosed that Trump and his security team were briefed and discussed “a range of options to respond to any form of North Korean aggression or, if necessary, to prevent North Korea from threatening the United States and its allies with nuclear weapons.”
Earlier on Monday, Secretary of Defence James Mattis had reiterated that diplomacy along with international economic sanctions against North Korea would remain the leading element of his country’s strategy towards Pyonyang.