12 October, 2017
Meanwhile this information emerged around the same time the United States military flew two strategic bombers over the Korean peninsula in a show of force late on Tuesday. More recently, Seoul accused North Korea of having hacked, stolen and leaked sensitive military secrets and Seoul-Washington war plans.
Rhee told CNN on Tuesday that the documents stolen included the South Korea-US wartime operational plan and a document that includes procedures to "decapitate" the North Korean leadership.
Fears the crisis could spiral into open conflict have risen as the communist state demonstrated rapid progress in its efforts to develop a nuclear-tipped missile that could target the USA mainland despite several rounds of punishing United Nations and other global sanctions against it.
In addition to the missile tests, it has conducted six nuclear tests since 2006, including the most powerful one on September 3. The US said Japan's Air Force also took part in the drill.
But in 2008 trips were suspended after a North Korean soldier shot dead a 53-year-old woman from the South, who wandered into a forbidden military zone.
"The Korean-American relationship is very important and our visit to Chinhae gives us the opportunity to strengthen the outstanding relationship that exists between the USA and the Republic of Korea", said Commander Chad Hardt, the submarine's commanding officer, according to a release issued by Pacific Command. In August, Pyongyang threatened to shoot intermediate range missiles towards the vicinity of Guam, a target frequently subjected to sabre-rattling from the North.
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Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah chairs a cabinet meeting for the first time since 2014 in Gaza City , October 3, 2017. However, Hamas' senior leader, Ismail Haniya, voiced his disagreement in an interview in Gaza broadcast on Egypt's ONTV.
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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.
US President Donald Trump tweeted last week that North Korea has been "making fools" of US negotiators for 25 years, adding that "only one thing will work" in dealing with the Kim Jong Un regime.
The Pentagon also declined to comment specifically on reports of the potential breach, but spokesman Col. Robert Manning said on Tuesday that the U.S. is "confident in the security of our operations plans and our ability to deal with any threat from North Korea".
It was part of a "regular deployment training" aimed at enhancing the capability of implementing the "extended deterrence" against the North, the JCS said.
Trump will travel to South Korea as part of a visit to the region that will take place from November 3-14 and will include stops in Japan, China, Vietnam, the Philippines and Hawaii.