North Korea is readying the launch of a ballistic missile, military leaders in South Korea believe after launching rockets in live-fire drills in response to the test of a nuclear bomb at the weekend.
Sunday’s nuclear test by Kim Jong-Un’s regime had an estimated strength of 50 kilotons, defence ministry officials told a parliamentary briefing on Monday as Seoul agreed “it is time to strengthen” a military response against the North.
That would make it five times the size of the North’s previous test in September last year – and more than three times bigger than the US device that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945.
South Korea responded to the nuclear test, which the North claimed was of a hydrogen bomb, with live-fire drills off its eastern coast on Monday that were meant to simulate an attack on the North’s main nuclear test site.
Military leaders in the South claim to have seen indications that the North is preparing more missile launches, possibly of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
America has warned that any threat to itself or its allies would be met with a “massive military response”, but British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson cautioned against a military strike.