The drums of war keep getting louder around the Korean Peninsula, as tensions mount between all sides.
The latest missile launch by North Korea has been answered by a simulated bombing raid by its southern foe.
The exercise, ordered by the South Korean president Moon Jae-in, called for a squadron of F15-K to drop MK84 ordnance on practice targets on a shooting range sited near the border.
The -K variant of the F15 series is specifically manufactured for the South Korean Air Force by Boeing. It can carry almost 14 tons worth of weapons, including the MK84 multi-purpose bomb.
Second only in size to the largest Daisy Cutter weapon, the MK84 -deemed ‘the Hammer’ by F-117 pilots who dropped it during the First Gulf War- the MK84 delivers over 400kg of explosive power to the target.
The bombing drill was intended as a show of ‘overwhelming force’ to the Pyongyang regime.
The move comes hours after North Korea conducted another test missile launch. The weapon, believed to be a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range missile, flew over the northern Japanese territory of Hokkaido and triggered a planned response. Air-raid sirens blared, trains stopped, and people received text messages urging them to seek shelter immediately.
The missile is believed to have experienced a mid-flight malfunction and splashed down on Japanese waters.
The move marks a dangerous escalation in the ongoing conflict involving North Korea and the US’s allies in the area, South Korea and Japan.