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(2nd LD) Four F-15Ks hold exercise against N. Korea's leadership

2017/08/29 17:07

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(ATTN: COMBINES stories on S. Korea's show of force; ADDS photo, more info in 4th para, from 7th para)

SEOUL, Aug. 29 (Yonhap) -- A squadron of four South Korean F-15K fighter jets staged a live-bombing drill against North Korea's leadership on Tuesday in response to its latest ballistic missile launch, the Air Force announced.

The aircraft dropped eight MK-84 bombs, each weighing about a ton, at a simulated target at the Pilseung Range in the eastern province of Gangwon.

They hit the target accurately, it said, adding the practice was aimed at sharpening the capability of completely destroying "the enemy's leadership" in case of an emergency.

The MK-84 general-purpose bomb is known to be mainly used for destroying underground bunkers.

South Korea's F-15K fighter jets drop bombs during a training in Gangwon Province on Aug. 29, 2017 in this photo provided by the Air Force. (Yonhap) South Korea's F-15K fighter jets drop bombs during a training in Gangwon Province on Aug. 29, 2017 in this photo provided by the Air Force. (Yonhap)

It confirmed the South Korean Air Force's attack ability for a strong warning message to the North, defense officials said.

"Our Air Force will wipe out the leadership of the North Korean regime with the strong strike capability if it threatens the security of our people and the South Korea-U.S. alliance with nuclear weapons and missiles," Maj. Lee Kuk-no, who led the training mission, was quoted as saying.

A bomb hits a mock target at the Pilseung Range in Gangwon Province during a live-fire drill by South Korea's F-15K fighter jets on Aug. 29, 2017 in this photo provided by the Air Force. (Yonhap) A bomb hits a mock target at the Pilseung Range in Gangwon Province during a live-fire drill by South Korea's F-15K fighter jets on Aug. 29, 2017 in this photo provided by the Air Force. (Yonhap)

South Korea also made public rare footage of its testing on new ballistic missiles.

The 86-second-long video clip shows the vivid scene of the test-firing of a 500-kilometer-range ballistic missile, Hyunmoo-2B, with improved warhead power and that of another one with a range of 800km, called Hyunmoo-2C. It was released by the state-run Agency for Defense Development (ADD).

In the footage, the missiles are fired and accurately hit mock targets on the ground and in the water.

The tests were conducted last week and were the last ones before the deployment of the missiles, the ADD said.

It added the missiles will serve as core elements in South Korea's Kill Chain pre-emptive strike system and the Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation (KMPR) scheme.

"Our military has the missile capability with top-level precision and power to strike any place in North Korea if necessary," the ADD said. "It will greatly reinforce missile forces and power down the road as well."

  

South Korea's ballistic missiles are fired in recent tests in this photo provided by the Agency for Defense Development. (Yonhap) South Korea's ballistic missiles are fired in recent tests in this photo provided by the Agency for Defense Development. (Yonhap)

Earlier in the day, the North shoot an apparent intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan. South Korean President Moon Jae-in ordered his military to demonstrate its firepower to discourage the North from miscalculating the security situation.

The U.S. is expected to dispatch strategic bombers or an aircraft carrier in a show of force and security commitment to the defense of South Korea.

lcd@yna.co.kr

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