North Korea preparing to launch missile, South Korea believes after holding live-fire drills – latest news

North Korea preparing to launch missile, South Korea believes after holding live-fire drills - latest newsSouth claims to have seen indications North is to launch missiles Warning as it holds live-fire drills after Kim Jong-Un nuclear test United Nations Security Council to hold emergency meeting US has warned threat would trigger 'massive military response' Boris Johnson urges against strike as North could 'vaporise' Seoul How war with North Korea could start and what it would look like What is North Korea's missile range? Everything you need to know North Korea is readying the launch of a ballistic missile, military leaders in South Korea believe after launching rockets in live-fire drills in response to the test of a nuclear bomb at the weekend. Sunday's nuclear test by Kim Jong-Un's regime had an estimated strength of 50 kilotons, defence ministry officials told a parliamentary briefing on Monday as Seoul agreed "it is time to strengthen" a military response against the North. That would make it five times the size of the North's previous test in September last year - and more than three times bigger than the US device that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945. South Korea responded to the nuclear test, which the North claimed was of a hydrogen bomb, with live-fire drills off its eastern coast on Monday that were meant to simulate an attack on the North's main nuclear test site. South Korea flexes its military muscle 01:11 Military leaders in the South claim to have seen indications that the North is preparing more missile launches, possibly of an intercontinental ballistic missile. America has warned that any threat to itself or its allies would be met with a "massive military response", but British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson cautioned against a military strike. Mr Johnson said that North Korea already has the ability to "vaporise" large parts of the population of South Korea even without nuclear weapons. Stay with us for the latest updates throughout the day amid the ongoing tensions. 8:33AM South 'still seeing signs that North is planning to stage more ballistic missile launches' South Korea's defence ministry said in a parliament hearing on Monday it was still seeing signs that North Korea planned to stage more ballistic missile launches, possibly including an intercontinental ballistic missile. "We have continued to see signs of possibly more ballistic missile launches," said Chang Kyung-soo, a defence ministry official. "We also forecast North Korea could fire an intercontinental ballistic missile."  The defence ministry was called by parliament on Monday to answer questions about North Korea's sixth and largest nuclear test that was carried out a day earlier.  8:22AM South Korea launches live-fire exercises to simulate attack from North After the North's test of a nuclear bomb at the weekend, South Korea responded with live-fire exercises on Monday, with both ground and air-launched rockets. The country's military fired missiles into the sea to simulate an attack on the North's main nuclear test site a day after Pyongyang detonated its largest ever nuclear test explosion. South Korean troops fire a Hyunmoo Missile into the waters of the East Sea during a military exercise Credit: Defense Ministry/Yonhap/via REUTERS South Korea's missile system firing Hyunmu-2 missile into the East Sea  Credit: AFP/South Korean Defence Ministry The live-fire exercise was designed to send a 'strong warning' to Pyongyang Credit: South Korean Defense Ministry/Getty South Korea's military said its live-fire exercise was meant to "strongly warn" Pyongyang. The drill involved F-15 fighter jets and the country's land-based "Hyunmoo" ballistic missiles firing into the Sea of Japan. A South Korean soldier mans a K-9 self-propelled howitzer as he prepares for a military exercise in Paju Credit: Ahn Young-joon/AP South Korean soldiers prepare barbed wire during a military exercise in Paju Credit: Ahn Young-joon/AP South Korean army's K-1 tanks in a training exercise  Credit: Ahn Young-joon/AP The target was set considering the distance to the North's test site and the exercise was aimed at practicing precision strikes and cutting off reinforcements, Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said. Each new North Korean missile and nuclear test gives Pyongyang's scientists invaluable information that allows big jumps in capability. South Korean soldiers ride on a military truck in the border county of Hwacheon Credit: AFP/YONHAP/STR North Korean soldiers on guard, seen from the Chinese border town of Tumen Credit: Kyodo News/AP Pedestrians walk past a shelter sign set up on an exit of a subway station in Seoul  Credit: JUNG YEON-JE/AFP South Korea's defence ministry also said it would temporarily deploy the four remaining launchers for a major new US missile defence system after the completion of an environmental assessment by the government. The rollout of the controversial Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, vehemently opposed by neighbouring China, had been delayed since June. 7:59AM UN Security Council to hold emergency meeting after North Korean nuclear test The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting in response to North Korea's most powerful nuclear test - as the Trump administration warned any threat to the US or its allies would trigger a "massive military response". The meeting on Monday, at the request of the UK, US, Japan, France and South Korea, comes after Kim Jong Un's regime carried out its sixth test of a nuclear device. North Korean missile ranges US defence secretary Jim Mattis briefed President Donald Trump about the military options available if the crisis escalated, adding that Washington was capable of launching an "effective and overwhelming" response. While the US was "not looking to the total annihilation" of North Korea there were "many options to do so", he said. Asked by a reporter during a trip to church services if he would attack the North, Mr Trump said: "We'll see." Boris Johnson condemns North Korea's latest missile test 01:30 But in the UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson cautioned against a military strike, because North Korea already had the ability to "vaporise" large parts of the population of South Korea even without nuclear weapons. Prime Minister Theresa May said Pyongyang's actions posed an "unacceptable further threat to the international community" and urged world leaders to increase pressure on the regime. The test blast came after propaganda pictures were published of Mr Kim examining what was said to be a nuclear warhead being fitted on to the nose of an intercontinental ballistic missile. Kim Jong-un reportedly guiding the work for nuclear weaponisation of North Korea Credit: EPA/KCNA Mrs May reiterated the call for "tougher action, including increasing the pace of implementation of existing sanctions and looking urgently in the UN Security Council at new measures" she had made alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during her visit last week. She said: "This is now even more pressing. The international community has universally condemned this test and must come together to continue to increase the pressure on North Korea's leaders to stop their destabilising actions." Mr Trump branded North Korea "a rogue nation" and indicated that he was considering a trade boycott of nations that dealt with North Korea – widely viewed as a reference to China, although commentators questioned how the US would be able to take such a step. North Koreans watch a news report announcing the latest nuclear test on an electronic screen in Pyongyang Credit: KYODO/Reuters The Foreign Secretary played down the prospect of military action although he acknowledged all options remained on the table. Mr Johnson said: "There is no question that this is another provocation, it is reckless, what they are doing is, they seem to be moving closer towards a hydrogen bomb which, if fitted to a successful missile, would unquestionably present a new order of threat." Arguing for a diplomatic solution, he said: "It's certainly our view that none of the military options are good. It is of course right to say that all options are on the table, but we really don't see an easy military solution." North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with what is claimed to be part of the country's nuclear weapons program Credit: KCNA/Reuters The Chinese government "expressed firm opposition and strong condemnation" and urged North Korea to "stop taking erroneous actions that deteriorate the situation". But Mr Johnson urged Beijing to go further in putting economic pressure on its neighbour. He said: "Our message to the Chinese is, and we are working ever more closely with them, we think there is more scope for you, the Chinese, to put economic pressure on the North Koreans. "It has worked, we have seen signs in the last six months of Chinese pressure actually changing the approach of North Koreans – let's see if we can do it again." North Korea's nuclear threat 01:34 European Council president Donald Tusk said: "The EU stands ready to sharpen its policy of sanctions and invites North Korea to restart dialogue on its programmes without condition. "We call on the UN Security Council to adopt further UN sanctions and show stronger resolve to achieve a peaceful denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. The stakes are getting too high." North Korea's military arsenal 02:01 The artificial earthquake triggered by the North Korean test was several times stronger than from previous blasts and reportedly shook buildings in China and Russia. The test was carried out at 12.29pm local time at the Punggye-ri site where North Korea has conducted nearly all of its past nuclear tests. Officials in Seoul put the magnitude of the quake at 5.7 while the US Geological Survey said it was 6.3. North Korea's nuclear history: key moments



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