South Korea has threatened to ‘exterminate’ North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un if he continues to risk the safety of its population, as Seoul responded to this morning’s ballistic missile launch over Japan. North Korea fired a ballistic missile over northern Japan today in the most serious escalation yet of its nuclear stand-off with the West.
Within hours, South Korea had responded by bombing a shooting range near its border to the North as part of a military drill, launching footage which contained a stern warning to Kim Jong-Un.
Seoul dropped eight Mark 84 bombs with four F15K fighter jets near Taebaek, Gangwon-do province, and released footage of the drill along with a video of its own ballistic missile tests conducted last week.
‘If North Korea threatens the security of the South Korean people and the South Korea-US alliance with their nuclear weapons and missiles our air forces will exterminate the leadership of North Korea with our strong strike capabilities,’ South Korean Colonel Lee Kuk-no warned in the video.
A statement from Seoul later on Tuesday echoed this sentiment, saying South Korea is ‘fully ready for any threat from the North’.
‘We strongly condemn the North’s yet another provocation despite a grave message sent through Resolution 2371 adopted by the international community in the wake of its repeated strategic provocations,’ the government said in a statement punlished by Yonhap news.
‘We are fully ready for any threat from the North and will make unwavering efforts to protect the lives of our people and the security of our nation,’ it said.
The rocket launched by North Korea this morning broke into three pieces off the coast of Hokkaido and landed in the Pacific Ocean, around 700 miles east of Cape Erimo, after travelling 1,700 miles in eight minutes.
Japanese military did not attempt to shoot down the rocket, reportedly a midrange ballistic missile designed to carry a nuclear payload.