Earlier this year, a rumor-story indicated that the U.S. Navy SEAL 6 team was training for a “decapitation attack” against North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. At the time, the Pentagon denied the story while claiming that the U.S. “does not train for decapitation missions.” No clarification ever arrived on whether the word “decapitation” was being reported as literal (an assassination) or whether it referred to taking out the hostile power’s nukes. However, a New York Times report now shines more light on whether those plans actually existed. And it seems that North Korea hacked the heck out of those plans, if a South Korean lawmaker is to be believed.
Rhee Cheol-hee, who serves on the South Korean National Assembly’s defense committee, informed reporters that the hacking was discovered last September, but he only recently became aware of the issue. South Korean news outlets previously said that war plans (and arrangements for overthrowing Kim Jong-un) may have been part of the take, and Rhee has appeared to confirm as much:
North Korean hackers stole a vast cache of data, including classified wartime contingency plans jointly drawn by Washington and Seoul, when they breached the computer network of the South Korean military last year, a South Korean lawmaker said Tuesday.
One of the contingency plans contained the South Korean military’s plan to remove the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, referred to as the “decapitation” plan, should war break out on the Korean Peninsula, the lawmaker, Rhee Cheol-hee, told reporters.
Still, the NY Times notes that no one knows exactly how much damage to U.S.-South Korean wartime preparations has been done through this hacking. Even though Rhee confirmed that around 300 confidential documents were compromised, the South Korean military hasn’t been able to figure out what 80% of those documents included.
Meanwhile, Pyongyang has been regularly lobbing missiles toward U.S. targets in Japan while threatening to sink the nation with a nuke. While the reported Columbus Day provocation never occurred by North Korea, perhaps Kim Jong-un’s simply concentrating on infiltrating the U.S. through illegal seafood shipments. One never really knows what will come next.
(Via New York Times)