In this photo provided by the Defense Ministry of the Republic of Korea (ROK), the ROK's Hyunmoo II ballistic missile is fired during an exercise at an undisclosed location in the country, Sept 4, 2017. (ROK DEFENSE MINISTRY VIA AP)
SEOUL/NEW YORK – The military of the Republic of Korea (ROK) on Monday conducted a live-fire missile drill as the UN Security Council convened an emergency meeting a day after the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s sixth nuclear test.
The ROK military, meanwhile, also said the DPRK appears to be readying launch of a ballistic missile, possibly an intercontinental ballistic missile.
According to ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), the army and the air force carried out a combined live-fire drill early Monday along the east coast.
The army fired Hyunmoo-2A surface-to-surface ballistic missiles and the air force mobilized F-15K fighter jets to fire SLAM-ER precision-guided air-to-surface missiles.
The missiles accurately hit a target in the eastern waters, the JCS said in a statement.
The homegrown Hyunmoo-2A ballistic missile has a 300-km range, with the SLMA-ER missiles capable of flying up to 270 km.
The UN Security Council, meanwhile, is holding its second emergency meeting in a week about the DPRK on Monday.
Scheduled after Pyongyang said it detonated a hydrogen bomb underground Sunday, the emergency session comes six days after the council strongly condemned Pyongyang's "outrageous" launch of a ballistic missile over Japan. Less than a month ago, the council imposed its stiffest sanctions so far on the reclusive nation.
The DPRK is "deliberately undermining regional peace and stability," the council said Tuesday when it rebuked the missile test, reiterating demands for the country to halt its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs.
The DPRK trumpeted "perfect success" Sunday in its sixth nuclear test blast since 2006.
Requested by the United States, Japan, France, Britain and the ROK, the Security Council meeting Monday could bring additional condemnation and discussion of other potential steps.
British Prime Minister Theresa May called in a statement Sunday for speeding the implementation of existing sanctions and "looking urgently" at new measures in the council.
The group aimed to take a big bite out of the North Korean economy earlier this month by banning the North from exporting coal, iron, lead and seafood products. Together, those are worth about a third of the country's US$3 billion in exports last year.
The council could look to sanction other profitable DPRK exports, such as textiles. Another possibility could be tighter limits on DPRK laborers abroad; the recent sanctions barred giving any new permits for such workers. The US also suggested some other ideas earlier this summer, including air and maritime restrictions and restricting oil to the DPRK military and weapons programs.
However, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the council Tuesday that "addressing the issues plaguing the (Korean) Peninsula through sanction pressure alone is impossible" because "that path does not propose any options for engaging (the DPRK) in constructive negotiations." Russia and China have both proposed a two-pronged approach: the DPRK would suspend its nuclear and missile development, and the US and the ROK would suspend their joint military exercises, which they say are defensive but Pyongyang views as a rehearsal for invasion. The DPRK recently requested a Security Council meeting about the war games.