South Korea has developed a pre-emptive attack plan to annihilate the North Korean capital of Pyongyang in case it shows any signs of a nuclear attack, according to reports from Seoul.
An undisclosed military source cited by Yonhap news agency said:
“Every Pyongyang district, particularly where the North Korean leadership is possibly hidden, will be completely destroyed by ballistic missiles and high-explosive shells as soon as the North shows any signs of using a nuclear weapon. In other words, the North’s capital city will be reduced to ashes and removed from the map.”
The disclosure of the military response came after the Defense Ministry reported the “Korea Massive Punishment & Retaliation” (KMPR) concept to the National Assembly following the North’s fifth nuclear weapon test.
The KMPR concept calls for pre-emptive strikes and is dependent on the use of South Korean-made Hyunmoo ballistic missiles with ranges of up to 621 miles (1,000 kilometers) to mainly target the Pyongyang leadership in cases of both nuclear and conventional war being attempted by the North. The South plans to carry out a number of tests on these missiles by next year.
Fifth and strongest nuclear test ever
North Korea confirmed that it had conducted its fifth nuclear test in an official statement from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Nuclear Weapons Institute in Pyongyang, in which it also announced that:
“The standardization of the nuclear warhead will enable the DPRK to produce at will and as many as it wants a variety of smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear warheads of higher strike power with a firm hold on the technology for producing and using various fissile materials.”
Estimates of the explosive yield of the latest blast vary between 10 and 20 kilotons, enough to make it the North’s strongest nuclear test ever according to South Korean military sources. In comparison, the nuclear bomb dropped by the U.S. on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945 had a yield of about 15 kilotons.
Swift international condemnation
North Korea is banned by the U.N. from any tests of nuclear or missile technology, and has been hit by five sets of U.N. sanctions since its first test in 2006. Consequently, the latest test was strongly criticized by South Korea, the U.S., Australia, France, Japan, Russia, and China — Pyongyang’s major diplomatic ally.
Watch a timeline of North Korea’s past nuclear tests by ARIRANG NEWS:
The United Nations Security Council said Pyongyang showed “flagrant disregard” and “clear violation” of existing U.N. resolutions.
U.S. President Barack Obama characterized the test as a “grave threat to regional security and to international peace and stability” while considering further sanctions in addition to any imposed by the U.N. Security Council, Japan, and South Korea.
Pyongyang has defended its right to build and maintain nuclear weapons, saying they deter foreign powers from invading, and call the latest threats “meaningless and highly laughable.”