South conducts first live-fire cruise missile drill

A day after North Korea carried out its largest-ever nuclear weapons test, South

Korea said Wednesday it has conducted its first live-fire drill for an advanced air-launched cruise missile. The exercise, it said, was to bolster its pre-emptive strike capability against North Korea in the event of crisis.

South Korea’s military said Taurus missile was from an F-15 fighter jet at low altitudes before hitting a target off the western coast during drills on Tuesday.

The missile has a range of 500 km (maximum) and is equipped with stealth characteristics that will allow it to avoid radar detection before hitting targets in north, Seoul’s defense ministry said.

Meanwhile, the  defense minister Song Young-moo announced that a special forces brigade called ‘decapitation unit’ will be established by end of the year.

Defense officials in South said, the unit could conduct cross-border raids with retooled helicopters and transport planes that could sneak into North at night.

A country does not easily announce its plans to assassinate head of another state, but South Korea apparently wants North to hear this and prevent conflict.


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