USA shows off bombers again over Korea

Two supersonic US bombers flew over the Korean Peninsula, officials said Wednesday, in a show of force amid growing tensions with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program.

Two supersonic USA bombers have flown over the Korean peninsula in a "show of force" despite Kim Jong-Un's threats to shoot them down. As part of the exercise, two American B-1 bombers and South Korean and Japanese fighter jets flew over the Korean Peninsula.

The U.S. Air Force bombers and the South Korean fighters then conducted a second firing exercise over the Yellow Sea, according to the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff.

He said: "The recent North Korea cyber hack may relate to the reported August 2016 compromise of the South Korean ministry of defence".

The US military statement said the exercise "demonstrates how USA military forces in the Indo-Asia-Pacific are always ready to defend the American homeland and how the USA stands resolutely with Japan and the ROK to honor their unshakeable alliance commitments".

More recently, Seoul accused North Korea of having hacked, stolen and leaked sensitive military secrets and Seoul-Washington war plans.

Outside governments and worldwide human rights organizations say Kim rules as a tyrant over a largely malnourished and abused population while enjoying a luxurious lifestyle backed up by a weapons program almost advanced enough to viably target the US mainland with nuclear-tipped missiles.

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While North Korea was not able to hack US power companies, there are concerns among some of observers that the regime may attempt to damage the power grid by detonating a nuclear device at a high altitude above the USA, triggering an electromagnetic pulse (EMP).

But neither side is budging in the standoff.

"While I would not characterize them as the best in the world, they are among the best in the world and the best organized", Army Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, told the Senate a year ago. North Korea routinely denies responsibility. In a speech at the United Nations in September, the US President accused the North Korean leader Kim of being "on a suicide mission" - while Kim responded by vowing to "tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire".

Guam, from where the B-1 bombers in Tuesday drills departed, has been a particular target of North Korean threats.

"I suppose this must be in reference to pre-empting an imminent North Korean nuclear attack", says regional security analyst Daniel Pinkston with Troy University in Seoul.

A follow-up statement from KCNA promised future launches "targeting the Pacific, where the USA imperialist aggressor forces' bases are stationed".

Seoul says North Korea has repeatedly staged cyberattacks on South Korean business and government websites.

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