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S. Korea fires missiles in new air, sea drills

The Associated Press SEOUL (AP) — South Korean jets and navy ships fired a barrage of guided missiles into the ocean during drills Thursday, a display of military power two days after North Korea test-launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile.

The live-fire drills off South Korea’s east coast were previously scheduled. In a show of force, South Korea and the United States also staged “deep strike” precision missile firing drills on Wednesday as a warning to the North.

Thursday’s drills were aimed at boosting readiness against possible maritime North Korean aggression.

They involved 15 warships including a 3,200-ton-class destroyer, as well as helicopters and fighter jets, South Korea’s navy said in a statement.

“Our military is maintaining the highest level of readiness to make a swift response even if a war breaks out today,” said Rear Adm. Kwon Jeong Seob, who directed the drills, according to the statement.

After the ICBM launch, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he would never put his weapons programs up for negotiation unless the United States abandoned its hostile policy toward the North. Kim’s statement suggested he will order more missile and nuclear tests until his country develops a functioning ICBM that can place the entire United States within striking distance.

Speaking in Berlin before the Group of 20 summit, South Korean President Moon Jae In said Wednesday that the world should look at tougher sanctions against the North and insisted the problem must be solved peacefully.Speech

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