The navies of South Korea and the United States have conducted long-range strike exercises against North Korea's nuclear facilities during an ongoing joint drill as the communist regime escalates its saber-rattling, Seoul's military said Tuesday.
In the six-day joint naval maneuvers that will run through Saturday, the allies have applied the concept of "Korea Massive Punishment & Retaliation" (KMPR) to improve striking capabilities of ship-to-ground missiles on top of the usual anti-ship and anti-air exercises, a defense ministry official told Yonhap News Agency.
The KMPR operational concept is aimed at decimating parts of Pyongyang, and envisions launching pre-emptive bombing attacks on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the country's military leadership if signs of imminent use of nuclear weapons are detected, ministry officials said.
"The 'Invincible Spirit' exercise has put a bigger focus on striking North Korea's key nuclear and missile facilities. The change comes after the North's fifth nuclear test last month," the official said...
The drills come amid growing speculation that Pyongyang may engage in yet another provocation such as a nuclear test or a ballistic missile launch to achieve its stated goal of developing a long-range nuclear missile capable of striking the U.S. mainland.
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