North Korea says Trump has 'lit fuse of war'

The South Korean military said this was part of a regular exercise to bolster military defences and also to display the alliance between the United States and South Korea

On Tuesday, Trump met with Defense Secretary Jim 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.

North Korea is also facing strong sanctions from the US and firm condemnation from the global community in the wake of repeated missile launches and nuclear tests. Such flights by the powerful aircraft based in Guam incense the North, which claims they are preparation for war; Pyongyang has threatened to send missiles into the waters around Guam.

Asked by a TASS reporter if dialogue between North Korea and the United States is possible, Ri said it was not. North Korea's possession of secret war plans would require a major overhaul of how South Korea and its ally Washington would respond if there's another war on the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea is famous for its outlandish threats of waging war and using nuclear weapons against the United States and its allies.

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 US and South Korea.

United States officials have voiced their concern that Kim Jong-un's nation could launch cyber attacks on American infrastructure.

The South Korean Unification Ministry could not confirm that the complex has been reopened, but did say that recent bus movements and illuminated street lamps in the site have been observed. Defense officials refused to comment Wednesday.

Asked by a TASS reporter if dialogue between North Korea and the USA is possible, Ri said it is not.

The warplanes first conducted a simulated air-to-ground missile drill over the waters east of the Korean Peninsula and then flew over South Korea and conducted the same drill over the waters west of the peninsula, the South Korean military said.

In late September, B-1 bombers flew the first mission this century north of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that divides North Korea and South Korea.

While the new measures also include limitations on the sale of refined petroleum products and crude oil, European Union member states will not provide new work permits to North Korean nationals.

During Tuesday's drills, the USA bombers, which flew from the Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, staged simulated air-to-ground missile striking drills off the peninsula's east coast before flying across the country accompanied by the two South Korean fighters.

"Our prime minister has made very clear our support for the US (policy), but more importantly, our support is for regional stability and security", Payne said.

The drills were conducted not long after Lee broke the news about the alleged cyberattacks to reporters.

"These actions are consistent with long-standing and well-known USA freedom of navigation policies that are applied to military operations around the world".

These plans had likely not been classified properly but defence ministry officials told Rhee the hacked documents were not of top importance, he said. Other stolen data included contingency plans for South Korean special forces and information on military facilities and power plants, he said.

" "Continuous Bomber Presence" missions ensure the USA, along with key allies, have a credible capability to respond to a variety of levels and types of threats throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region", the Air Force statement said.

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