The BBC is reporting that North Korean hackers have allegedly obtained access to a large cache of military documents, exposing a potential U.S.-South Korea joint plan to assassinate their leader, Kim Jong Un.
So far the South Korean Defense Ministry has refused to comment on the situation, but U.S. officials are worried that this may spark an other global conflict. The compromised documents not only included plans to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but also wartime contingency plans drawn up by the U.S. and South Korea.
Reports to high ranking officials were also compromised, and as South Korea scrambles to keep the situation under control, many are wondering how North Korean hackers could breach a supposedly secure system. Rhee Cheol-hee, a South Korean lawmaker, told the BBC that this information came straight from his country’s Defense Ministry.
Mr Rhee belongs to South Korea’s ruling party, and sits on its parliament’s defence committee. He said some 235 gigabytes of military documents had been stolen from the Defence Integrated Data Centre, and that 80% of them have yet to be identified.
The hack took place in September last year. In May, South Korea said a large amount of data had been stolen and that North Korea may have instigated the cyber attack – but gave no details of what was taken.
North Korea denied the claim.
Despite their insistence that they did not hack the documents, Seoul has been the victim of numerous cyber attacks over the past few years, with many targeting government databases. North Korea is believed to have highly skilled hackers based out of China, which could be responsible for this breach of security.
North Korea has since accused South Korea of “fabricating” the claims to demonize them, but few believe the rogue nation’s tyrant. North Korea has repeatedly spread propaganda about foreign nations, including a graphic depiction of U.S. territory in flames, with Vice President Mike Pence being smeared as well.
The two nations have been at verbal loggerheads over the North’s nuclear activities, with the US pressing for a halt to missile tests and Pyongyang vowing to continue them.
The North recently claimed to have successfully tested a miniaturised hydrogen bomb, which could be loaded onto a long-range missile.
In a speech at the UN in September, US President Donald Trump threatened to destroy North Korea if it menaced the US or its allies, and said its leader “is on a suicide mission”.
Mr Kim responded with a rare statement, vowing to “tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire”.
Mr Trump’s latest comment took the form of a cryptic tweet at the weekend, where he warned that “only one thing will work” in dealing with North Korea, after years of talks had proved fruitless. He did not elaborate further.
As tensions continue to rise, many are worried that a third world war is inevitable—however North Korea’s military budget isn’t even 3% of the United States’ massive $500+ billion dollar allocation of resources, so even if the psycho despot does decide to start a war, we’d be far from hurt.