Test-firing of a 500-kilometer-range ballistic missile with improved warhead power and that of another one with a range of 800 km. The video clip was released by the state-run Agency for Defense Development, hours after North Korea"s ballistic missile launch.
South Korea conducted bombing drills, issued footage of testing on new precision ballistic missiles, and decided to discuss with the United States about bringing in a B-1b nuclear bomber as well as other U.S. strategic assets to the Korean Peninsula after President Moon Jae-in ordered show of “powerful and overwhelming force” in response to North Korea’s firing of a missile that flew over Japan early Tuesday before landing in the Pacific.
The National Security Council was called shortly after North Korea’s missile launch before 6 a.m. where Moon ordered the military to demonstrate “powerful capabilities” to overwhelm North Korean attacks.
Four F15K fighter jets were ordered to drop eight MK 84 multipurpose bombs near the inter-Korean border in Taebaek, presidential spokesman Yoon Young-chan said in a press briefing.
“The president has taken the latest case very seriously and put the military on an emergency alert for further provocation,” he said.
Another official from the presidential office said Seoul would be discussing with Washington about deploying strategic assets such as nuclear bombers, warships, and submarines to the Korean peninsula.
Image of North Korea"s official newspaper Rodong Sinmun
Chung Eui-yong, Moon’s top security adviser, held a phone conversation with his White House counterpart H.R. McMaster who said President Donald Trump supported Moon’s strong response to North Korea’s provocations.
In a separate telephone conversation, South Korean and U.S. foreign ministers Kang Kyung-wha and Rex Tillerson agreed to push ahead with tougher U.N. Security Council sanctions.
Tuesday’s missile - ninth since Moon took office in May and 14th since the beginning of the year - sent tensions to a new level as it flew over Japan’s skies, sending Tokyo to order residents on the Hokkaido island to evacuate and seek hiding.
It flew more than 2,700 kilometers (1,677 miles) at a maximum altitude of around 550 km (341 miles). It later broke into three pieces and fell into the sea 1,180km (735 miles) east of Hokkaido, officials from Seoul, Tokyo, and Washington confirmed.
A missile with a range of 1,000 to 3,000 kilometers is classified as a medium-range ballistic missile in the South Korean military standard, but it could be an intermediate range ballistic missile, military analysts said.
They believe the presumed Hwasong-12 missile would have been launched as a display of defiant follow-up on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s threat about firing missiles toward Guam.
The escalated tensions rocked the Korean markets. The Korean composite stock price index was down 0.23 percent at 2,364.74 Tuesday on hectic foreign selling. The Korean won fell 6.3 won to 1,126.4 against the U.S. dollar.
By Ahn Doo-won
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