Seoul conducts live-fire drills after latest North Korea nuclear test

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South Korea has reportedly flexed its military muscles by conducting live-fire exercises after Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test.

The training exercises, led by South Korea’s Army and Air Force, simulated a strike against its neighbor with F-15K fighter jets hitting targets as well as surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, CNN reported, citing a statement from the country’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The drills, which took place early Monday morning local time, included a simulated strike on North Korea’s nuclear test site, Punggye-ri, according to CNN.
The exercises come hours after North Korean state media announced the country had successfully tested a miniaturized hydrogen bomb capable of fitting on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

Defense Secretary James Mattis responded by warning Pyongyang it would be met with a “massive military response” if it threatened the U.S. or its allies. 

“Any threat to the United States or its territories including Guam or our allies will be met with a massive military response,” Mattis said in a statement outside of the White House, following a meeting with President Trump. 

“Kim Jong Un should take heed the United Nations Security Council’s unified voice. All members unanimously agreed on the threat North Korea poses. And they remain unanimous in their commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Because we are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely, North Korea,” Mattis said.

The U.N. Security Council, which unanimously voted to impose sanctions on North Korea last month, announced plans to have an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the developments.

President Trump pledged last month that North Korea would face “fire and fury” if it continued to threaten the U.S. and its allies. 

After North Korea launched an ICBM over Japanese airspace last week, Trump said reasoning with the Pyongyang is no longer a viable solution.

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