Seoul: South Korea on Monday conducted a live-fire drill in response to the sixth nuclear test conducted by North Korea a day earlier, the media reported. The drill intended to simulate a strike on North Korea’s Pyunggye-ri nuclear test site involved the Hyunmoo ballistic missile system and F-15K fighter jets, reports Yonhap News Agency. In the drill, the Army’s Hyunmoo-2A surface-to-surface missile and the F-15K’s SLAM-ER precision-guided air-to-ground rocket hit a designated target in the East Sea, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).
It said the range to the simulated target was set in consideration of the North’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site in its northeastern province. The JCS did not specify the location of the drill. The Hyunmoo-2A’s range is around 300 km, and the SLAM-ER can fly up to 270 km.
“The training demonstrates the South Korean military’s resolve to destroy not only the origin of provocation but also the enemy’s leadership and supporting forces if they threaten the security of our people,” JCS spokesman Col. Roh Jae-cheon told the media.
He added: “We staged the real-distance shooting exercise, simulating the Punggye-ri area as the origin of provocation.” The Ministry of National Defence, meanwhile, said it was preparing for joint measures with the US military for a show of force against the North Korean provocation. “South Korea and the US are in consultations on appropriate ways on the issue,” ministry spokesman Moon Sang-gyun said at a press briefing.
North Korea on Sunday tested a hydrogen bomb deemed as its most powerful nuclear bomb to date. Technically known as a two-staged thermonuclear device which according to the North Korean regime, could be installed on an intercontinental ballistic missile, an achievement which would be a dangerous advance in its military capabilities, reports Efe news.
The international community has unanimously condemned Pyongyang’s new atomic test. Seoul and Tokyo have also called for more sanctions on Pyongyang. US President Donald Trump said that he was considering suspending trade with any country doing business with Pyongyang and also hinting at a possible attack on North Korea.
Defence Secretary James Mattis said Sunday in Washington, that Washington preparing for and examining all military options after North Korea said it successfully tested an H-bomb. The UN Security Council will meet on Monday to discuss the test. The meeting was called by the US, France, UK, Japan and South Korea.