South Korea simulates attack on North’s nuke site after test

None

In this photo provided by South Korea Defense Ministry, South Korea’s Hyunmoo II ballistic missile is fired during an exercise at an undisclosed location in South Korea, Monday, Sept. 4, 2017. In South Korea, the nation’s military said it conducted a live-fire exercise simulating an attack on North Korea’s nuclear test site to “strongly warn” Pyongyang over the latest nuclear test. Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the drill involved F-15 fighter jets and the country’s land-based “Hyunmoo” ballistic missiles. The released live weapons “accurately struck” a target in the sea off the country’s eastern coast, the JCS said. (South Korea Defense Ministry via AP)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Following U.S. warnings to North Korea of a “massive military response,” South Korea fired missiles into the sea to simulate an attack on the North’s main nuclear test site on Monday, a day after North Korea detonated its largest-ever nuclear test explosion.

South Korea’s Defense Ministry also said Monday that North Korea appeared to be planning a future missile launch, possibly of an ICBM, to show off its claimed ability to target the United States with nuclear weapons, though it was unclear when this might happen.

The heated words from the United States and the military maneuvers in South Korea are becoming familiar responses to North Korea’s rapid, as-yet unchecked pursuit of a viable arsenal of nuclear-tipped missiles that can strike the United States. The most recent, and perhaps most dramatic, advance came Sunday in an underground test of what leader Kim Jong Un’s government claimed was a hydrogen bomb, the North’s sixth nuclear test since 2006.

The United Nations Security Council planned to hold its second emergency meeting about North Korea in a week on Monday to discuss responses to the test.


South Korea’s military on Monday fired missiles into the sea to simulate an attack on the North Korea’s main nuclear test site a day after Pyongyang detonated its largest ever nuclear test explosion. (Sept. 4)

In Seoul, Chang Kyung-soo, an official with South Korea’s Defense Ministry, told lawmakers on Monday that it was seeing preparations in the North for an ICBM test but didn’t provide details about how officials had reached that assessment. Chang also said the yield from the latest nuclear detonation appeared to be about 50 kilotons, which would mark a “significant increase” from North Korea’s past nuclear tests.

In a series of tweets, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to halt all trade with countries doing business with North Korea, a warning to China, and faulted South Korea for what he called “talk of appeasement.”

In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, told reporters in Beijing on Monday that China regarded as “unacceptable a situation in which on the one hand we work to resolve this issue peacefully but on the other hand our own interests are subject to sanctions and jeopardized. This is neither objective nor fair.”

South Korea’s military said its live-fire exercise was meant to “strongly warn” North Korea. The drill involved F-15 fighter jets and the country’s land-based “Hyunmoo” ballistic missiles firing into the Sea of Japan.

The target was set considering the distance to North Korea’s test site and the exercise was aimed at practicing precision strikes and cutting off reinforcements, Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

Each new North Korean missile and nuclear test gives the country’s scientists invaluable information that allows big jumps in capability. North Korea is thought to have a growing arsenal of nuclear bombs and has spent decades trying to perfect a multistage, long-range missile to eventually carry smaller versions of those bombs.

Both diplomacy and severe sanctions have failed to check the North’s decades-long march to nuclear mastery.

In Washington, Trump, asked by a reporter if he would attack North Korea, said, “We’ll see.” No U.S. military action appeared imminent, and the immediate focus appeared to be on ratcheting up economic penalties, which have had little effect thus far.

In brief remarks after a White House meeting with Trump and other national security officials, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters that America does not seek the “total annihilation” of North Korea, but then added somberly, “We have many options to do so.”

Mattis said the U.S. will answer any threat from the North with a “massive military response — a response both effective and overwhelming.”

Mattis also said the international community is unified in demanding the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and that Kim should know Washington’s commitment to Japan and South Korea is unshakeable.

The precise strength of North Korea’s underground nuclear explosion has yet to be determined. South Korea’s weather agency said the artificial earthquake caused by the explosion was five times to six times stronger than tremors generated by the North’s previous five tests.

Sunday’s detonation builds on recent North Korean advances that include test launches in July of two ICBMs. The North says its missile development is part of a defensive effort to build a viable nuclear deterrent that can target U.S. cities.

North Korea has made a stunning jump in progress in its nuclear and missile programs since Kim rose to power following his father’s death in late 2011. The North followed its two tests of Hwasong-14 ICBMs, which, when perfected, could target large parts of the United States, by threatening to launch a salvo of Hwasong-12 intermediate range missiles toward the U.S. Pacific island territory of Guam in August.

It flew a Hwasong-12 over northern Japan last week, the first such overflight by a missile potentially capable of carrying nuclear weapons, in a launch Kim described as a “meaningful prelude” to containing Guam, the home of major U.S. military facilities, and vowed to launch more ballistic missile tests targeting the Pacific.

Ahead of the North’s test, photos released by the North Korean government showed Kim talking with his lieutenants as he observed a silver, peanut-shaped device that was purportedly a thermonuclear weapon destined for an ICBM. The images were taken without outside journalists present and could not be independently verified. What appeared to be the nose cone of a missile could also be seen in one photo, and another showed a diagram on the wall behind Kim of a bomb mounted inside a cone.

The Arms Control Association in the United States said the explosion appeared to produce a yield in excess of 100 kilotons of TNT equivalent, which it said strongly suggests North Korea tested a high-yield but compact nuclear weapon that could be launched on a missile of intermediate or intercontinental range.

Beyond the science of the blast, North Korea’s accelerating push to field a nuclear weapon that can target all of the United States is creating political complications for the U.S. as it seeks to balance resolve with reassurance to allies that Washington will uphold its decades-long commitment to deter nuclear attack on South Korea and Japan.

That is why some questioned Trump’s jab at South Korea. He tweeted that Seoul is finding that its “talk of appeasement” will not work. The North Koreans, he added, “only understand one thing,” implying military force might be required. The U.S. has about 28,000 troops stationed in South Korea and is obliged by treaty to defend it in the event of war.

Trump also suggested putting more pressure on China, North Korea’s patron for many decades and a vital U.S. trading partner, in hopes of persuading Beijing to exert more effective leverage on its neighbor. Trump tweeted that the U.S. is considering “stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea.” Such a halt would be radical. The U.S. imports about $40 billion in goods a month from China, North Korea’s main commercial partner.

Experts have questioned whether North Korea has gone too far down the nuclear road to continue pushing for a denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, an Obama administration policy goal still embraced by Trump’s White House.

“Denuclearization is not a viable U.S. policy goal,” said Richard Fontaine, president of the Center for a New American Security, but neither should the U.S. accept North Korea as a nuclear power, he said. “We should keep denuclearization as a long-term aspiration, but recognize privately that it’s unachievable anytime soon.”

___

Associated Press writers Robert Burns and Catherine Lucey in Washington and Kim Tong-hyung in Seoul contributed to this report.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “South Korea simulates attack on North’s nuke site after test

  1. Thank you Gordon for keeping us updated , the hydrogen bomb under ground could trigger massive earthquakes!. We know wars and rumours of wars and earthquakes and famine and pestilence etc will occur with increasing intensity before the Lord’s return to Earth. I believe we are still in the labour pains but they are escalating so fast now that we should know the birth is coming…..and the tribulation. We have witnessed signs in the Heavens and the Rev 12 sign is due on Sept 23rd so I am expecting tribulation period very very soon therefore I am also expecting the rapture imminently and have had a couple of dreams about it too which have been reassuring because my husband was going with me on the flight ‘ out of here!’. I have noticed a real awakening in Him and he doesn’t scoff anymore but now often agrees with what I have explained and when I read to Him from one of your posts he listened attentively! However, I am resting in The Lord about everything and I am prepared to wait long or short and just pray that whatever we must face we will be fully equipped to do so by TheHoly Spirit within us, so in these dark days and as they intensify, we will live well for His Glory and be His shining lights for others. Even if we must lose our lives, let us not be afraid for He goes before us always! More of Him and less of us……. we have complete victory in Him !

    God bless you my brother!
    Maranatha!
    Christine

    • Thanks for your comment Christine!

      I also see the escalation of signs before us, and it’s exciting to think about the rapture of the church happening at any time!

      I am so happy to hear of your husband coming around and listening, perhaps the good Lord is now at work softening his heart and opening his eyes to the truth of what is taking place in the world and to the gospel message of Jesus Christ. Not that it matters, but I’m a little curious as to what post you read to him?

      It still amazes me at how God uses us to plant seeds, then He tends to the heart and the mind and makes it grow, fascinating!

      I wonder at times about the way that I live and the things that I do in this life, just how much of an impact they have on other people? These are things we may never know, and yet we just may know all about them once we get to heaven. I pray the good Lord continues to use me for His will, and I pray that He turns it all out for good in order to bring the lost to salvation and bring comfort, peace, and encouragement to brothers and sisters in Christ, not for my own well being but all to the glory of God!

      God bless sister! My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours. Maranatha!

  2. Thank you Gordon for your prayers and for your faithful work in the Lord. I have not felt far from good fellowship since being led to your blog a few years ago and I have often been blessed by what I have read and have also had many confirmations of what the good Lord has been teaching and saying to me too.

    The post that I read out was…Signs of the Closeness of Christ’s Return to Earth! He was very pensive and quiet for a while afterwards and I thanked God because I knew He was using those words to reveal truth to him.

    God bless you Brother!
    Maranatha!
    Christine

    • Thanks for your comment Christine!

      You are welcome my friend, and thank you! I feel the same way about you and other believers reading this blog and commenting, it is such a blessing being able to commune and pray together over the internet with like minded believers in Jesus Christ!

      And thanks for sharing what post you read to your husband. That really is a powerful message, especially if someone is sitting on the fence! God’s words never return to Him void, He accomplishes His will through His words.

      May the good Lord continue to soften your husbands eyes and reveal to Him the truth! Amen.

      God bless Sister! Maranatha!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: