Following North Korea’s fifth nuclear test, South Korea’s Defense Ministry said Monday that Kim Jong Un’s regime is ready to conduct another nuclear test any time. And, in a bid to deter any such attempt by Pyongyang, an official at the U.S. Forces in Korea (USFK) said that the United States will conduct a bomber flight over South Korea on Tuesday, Reuters reported.
North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test Friday, inviting international condemnation. Reports of another nuclear test being conducted soon after were rife, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.
“Assessment by South Korean and U.S. intelligence is that the North is always ready for an additional nuclear test in the Punggye-ri area,” South Korea’s Defense Ministry spokesman Moon Sang-gyun said at a news briefing, referring to the region near the northeastern coast that has been the site of the explosions.
Yonhap reported that a planned U.S. military B-1B bomber flight to the Korean peninsula had been scheduled for Monday but was delayed because of bad weather. The USFK official, speaking to Reuters, however, declined to name the bomber’s type or the size of the fleet.
“Due to inclement weather conditions, the engagement at Osan Air Base scheduled for today has been postponed,” Yonhap quoted USFK spokesman Christopher Bush saying in a statement.
The South Korean defense ministry has also presented the “Korea Massive Punishment & Retaliation” to the national assembly, “aimed at wiping a certain section of Pyongyang completely off the map,” Yonhap quoted a military source as saying.
“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 source said, following the latest attempt by the North to showcase its nuclear capabilities.
While a number of states came together to condemn the tests, the U.S. is pushing for unilateral sanctions against Pyongyang. However, North Korea on Sunday called such attempts “laughable,” maintaining its determination to further strengthen its nuclear power.