Fearing abduction by North, South Koreans fleeing China


North Korea is also facing strong sanctions from the USA and firm condemnation from the worldwide community in the wake of repeated missile launches and nuclear tests.

North Korea has test-fired several missiles and conducted what it said was a test explosion of a hydrogen bomb as it advances toward its goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the United States mainland.

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.

Mr Trump has been tough on North Korea as the regime has fired a series of ballistic missiles and conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test in recent months.

However it is unlikely North Korea would agree to allow the business owners' request to visit their facilities, given the heightened tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs.

On Monday, Trump's Defense Secretary James Mattis said at the annual meeting of the Association of the United States Army that the U.S. Army should "be ready" for a potential war with North Korea.

Asked by a TASS reporter if dialogue between North Korea and the United States is possible, Ri said it was not. It said the USA warplanes flew with fighter jets from the South Korean air force and Japan Self-Defense Force in the first nighttime B-1 bomber exercise between the three allies.

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".

Russian state news agency Tass says North Korea's foreign minister has described his nation's nuclear weapons as a "sword of justice".

Among the leaked documents was Operational Plans 5015 for use in case of war with the North and including procedures for "decapitation" attacks on leader Kim Jong-Un, the paper quoted Rhee as saying.

Secret intelligence documents and photos collected by the USA military were among what was stolen from South Korea's classified information by Pyongyang hackers in September 2016.

According to the survey by the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 65 percent of Americans believe the war of words between Trump and the North Korean leadership has made the situation worse.

Former chief of counter intelligence at the FBI, Frank Figliguzzi, said: "This is a signal that North Korea is a player in the cyber-intrusion field and it is growing in its ability to hurt us".

This May an investigative team inside the defence ministry announced the hack had been carried out by North Korea, but did not disclosed what kind of information had been taken.

In a surprising sign of weakness, the commentary also says that if North Atlantic Treaty Organisation would join the United States in the Korean Peninsula it would "change the balance of forces" against it.