South Korea holds live-fire drills hours after North Korea launches missile near Japan

South Korea’s air force has staged a live-fire drill simulating the destruction of North Korea’s leadership, hours after Pyongyang launched a missile over Japan.

North Korea first fired an unidentified missile from near the capital Pyongyang, which flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, making it the first North Korean projectile to successfully pass over Japanese territory since 1998. It subsequently broke up and fell into the Pacific Ocean.

Just hours after the North Korean launch, South Korea’s Presidential Office announced four F-15K jetfighters had dropped eight MK84 bombs on a simulated target at the Taebaek Pilsung Firing Range in the country’s northeastern Gangwon province.

An official with the South Korean Defense Ministry told CNN the one-ton bombs had all landed on target. “The drill reconfirmed South Korea Air Force capability to destroy the enemy’s leadership in cases of emergency,” the official said.

In a press conference, presidential spokesman Yoon Young-chan said South Korean leader Moon Jae-in had wanted “to showcase a strong punishment capability against the North.”

South Korea joined with the United States and Japan in calling for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss the North Korea launch.

[CNN]

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