South Korean warships conducted live-fire exercises at sea Tuesday as Seoul continued its displays of military capability following U.S. warnings of a “massive military response” after North Korea detonated its largest-ever nuclear test explosion.
South Korea’s presidential office also said Washington and Seoul have agreed to remove bilaterally agreed warhead restrictions on South Korean missiles, which would allow the South to develop more powerful weapons that would boost its pre-emptive strike capabilities against the North.
The South’s military exercises on Monday involved F-15 fighter jets and land-based ballistic missiles simulating an attack on North Korea’s nuclear test site to “strongly warn” Pyongyang over the recent detonation.
The heated words from the United States and the military maneuvers in South Korea are becoming familiar responses to North Korea’s rapid, as-yet unchecked pursuit of a viable arsenal of nuclear-tipped missiles that can strike the United States. The most recent, and perhaps most dramatic, advance came Sunday in an underground test of what leader Kim Jong Un’s government claimed was a hydrogen bomb, the North’s sixth nuclear test since 2006.
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