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North Korea nuclear crisis

South Korea releases dramatic new missile video as jets practice bombing runs in show of ‘retaliatory power’

The South Korean military released footage of missiles being fired from truck-mounted launchers on what appears to be a civilian ship

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 August, 2017, 2:42pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 August, 2017, 4:14pm

South Korea has released footage of its own missile tests it said were conducted last week in a response to the latest North Korean missile launch.

The South Korean military said Tuesday it conducted three flight tests of two types of new missiles with ranges of 800 kilometres and 500 kilometres on August 24 and that the missiles were close to being operationally deployed.

The military released footage of the tests of the longer-range missile that showed the missile being fired from a truck-mounted launcher on what appears to be a civilian ship and hitting a land-based target.

South Korea hasn’t officially named the missile yet, but it is tentatively called the Hyunmoo-2C.

The missile is considered a key component to the so-called “kill chain” pre-emptive strike capability the South is pursuing to cope with the North’s growing nuclear and missile threat.

Watch: South Korea releases missile test video

The release of the footage came as South Korean President Moon Jae-in ordered his country’s military to demonstrate a “strong retaliatory power” against North Korea in the wake of Pyongyang’s ballistic missile launch earlier in the day, his spokesman said.

South Korea also responded to the launch by undertaking a bombing run on a test range involving four F-15K jet fighters on Tuesday morning, Yoon Young-chan told reporters.

In the exercise held at Moon’s instruction at 9.20am, eight bombs were dropped on the Taebaek firing-drill site, Yoon said.

The latest launch took place during an annual joint military exercise between South Korea and the US, amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula following a number of short-range missile launches conducted over the weekend.

South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that its government “strongly condemns North Korea’s provocation, made again” despite the message conveyed by the international community with the adoption of new, stricter UN Security Council sanctions resolution earlier this month.

Pyongyang’s testing of nuclear and ballistic missile technology is banned by the UN and is the subject of multiple international sanctions.

“The North Korean government should clearly realise its denuclearisation is the only genuine path to ensure its security and economic development,” the ministry said, urging Pyongyang to “come to the path of dialogue” instead of “making reckless provocations”.

If North Korea ignores such calls, the ministry warned South Korea and the US would respond strongly.

The ministry said its top diplomat, Kang Kyung-wha, and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson agreed during a 15-minute telephone call to take “resolute measures” over the launch.

South Korea’s military separately issued a strong warning to North Korea, with Roh Jae-cheon, spokesman for South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, saying the North would face “resolute and strong retaliation” if it continues its provocative actions.

Soon after the launch, South Korea convened its National Security Council meeting led by presidential security adviser Chung Eui-yong.

Chung discussed over the phone with H.R. McMaster, US national security adviser, the “deployment of [US] tactical assets to deter North Korea in an effective way” and how to impose further UN Security Council sanctions, South Korea’s presidential office said in a statement.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff said the top military officers of South Korea and the United States also held telephone talks and reaffirmed the need for their countries and Japan to closely cooperate in tackling the latest launch.

Kyodo, Associated Press