North Korea nuclear test: Kim Jong-un ‘preparing to launch missile’ – latest news

  • South claims to have seen indications North is to launch missiles
  • Warning as it holds live-fire drills after Kim Jong-Un nuclear test
  • North says its enemies are ‘hell-bent on escalating confrontation’
  • United Nations Security Council to hold emergency meeting
  • US has warned threat would trigger ‘massive military response’
  • Boris Johnson urges against strike as North could ‘vaporise’ Seoul
  • What is North Korea’s missile range? Everything you need to know

North Korea is readying the launch of a ballistic missile, military leaders in South Korea believe after launching rockets in live-fire drills in response to the test of a nuclear bomb at the weekend.

Sunday’s nuclear test by Kim Jong-Un’s regime had an estimated strength of 50 kilotons, defence ministry officials told a parliamentary briefing on Monday as Seoul agreed “it is time to strengthen” a military response against the North.

That would make it five times the size of the North’s previous test in September last year – and more than three times bigger than the US device that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945.

South Korea responded to the nuclear test, which the North claimed was of a hydrogen bomb, with live-fire drills off its eastern coast on Monday that were meant to simulate an attack on the North’s main nuclear test site.

Military leaders in the South claim to have seen indications that the North is preparing more missile launches, possibly of an intercontinental ballistic missile, and announced they would deploy more anti-missile defences.

North Korea responded on Monday that its enemies are “hell-bent on escalating confrontation”, as it launched a scathing attack on the “warmongers” in Seoul.

China warned North Korea against proceeding with plans to launch another ballistic missile, saying it should not worsen tensions, but said Donald Trump’s trade threat was “unacceptable”.

America has warned that any threat to itself or its allies would be met with a “massive military response”, but British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson cautioned against a military strike.

Mr Johnson said that North Korea already has the ability to “vaporise” large parts of the population of South Korea even without nuclear weapons.

Stay with us for the latest updates throughout the day amid the ongoing tensions.