South Korea simulates attack on North's nuke site after test

South Korea simulates attack on North's nuke site after test”

Trump responded to the test, which drew global condemnation, in a series of tweets.

China's Foreign Ministry said Pyongyang was clear about Beijing's opposition to North Korea's nuclear test and reiterated that talks were needed to resolve the issues on the Korean peninsula.

In Seoul, President Moon called for new United Nations sanctions to "completely isolate North Korea".

The South's military said the range to the simulated targets were equivalent to the North's Punggye-ri nuclear test site in its north-eastern province. North Korea is thought to have a growing arsenal of nuclear bombs and has spent decades trying to ideal a multistage, long-range missile to eventually carry smaller versions of those bombs.

The exercise came after South Korean President Moon Jae In, once an advocate of dialogue with the North, called for the "strongest punishment", joining a chorus of worldwide condemnation of Pyongyang's sixth nuclear test including from China.

Despite the tough talk, the immediate focus of the worldwide response was expected to be on tougher economic sanctions against Pyongyang.

In briefs remarks after a White House meeting with Trump and other national security officials, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters that America does not seek the "total annihilation" of the North, but then added somberly, "We have many options to do so". "Any threat to the USA or its territories, including Guam or our allies will be met with a massive military response - a response both effective and overwhelming", Mattis said. "But as I said, we have many options to do so", he added.

North Korea has made a stunning jump in progress for its nuclear and missile program since Kim rose to power following his father's death in late 2011.

South Korea's military says it conducted a live-fire exercise simulating an attack on North Korea's nuclear test site to "strongly warn" Pyongyang over the latest nuclear test. "We also forecast North Korea could fire an intercontinental ballistic missile", Chang Kyung-soo, a defense ministry official, told a parliament hearing on Monday.

Ahead of the North's test, photos released by the North Korean government showed Kim talking with his lieutenants as he observed a silver, peanut-shaped device that was apparently the purported thermonuclear weapon destined for an ICBM. Pyongyang residents celebrated as a jubilant television newsreader hailed the "unprecedentedly large" blast; she said it had moved the country closer to "the final goal of completing the state nuclear force". The meeting was called by the US, France, the United Kingdom, Japan and South Korea, according to the US mission to the UN.

Trump has previously vowed to stop North Korea developing nuclear weapons and said he would unleash "fire and fury" if it threatened USA territory.

In a series of tweets on Sunday, Trump appeared to rebuke South Korea for that approach.

Still, Trump's response was more orderly and less haphazard than he had offered to other provocations by North Korea.

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