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North Korea Nuclear Latest Sees South Warships Conduct Live-Fire Exercises And Threaten To 'Bury Them At Sea'

South Korean warships in live-fire exercises.

05/09/2017 08:21 BST | Updated 05/09/2017 14:03 BST

South Korean warships have conducted live-fire exercises at sea and warned its Northern neighbour that if provoked “we will immediately hit back and bury them at sea”.

The drills on Tuesday marked the second-straight day of military swagger from a nation still rattled by North Korea’s biggest-ever nuclear test, reports the Associated Press.

Pyongyang said it conducted a test of a hydrogen bomb on Sunday. It puts the North a huge step forward in its push for viable nuclear missiles capable of hitting the United States.

Handout via Getty Images
South Korea's Hyunmu-2 ballistic missile is fired during an exercise aimed to counter North Korea's nuclear test on 4 September

But it has also resulted in South Korea boosting its own military capabilities.

Washington and Seoul agreed to lift warhead restrictions on South Korean missiles that the allies had previously agreed upon.

This allows for the development of more powerful weapons needed to improve Seoul’s pre-emptive strike capabilities against the North.

Seoul says North Korea appears to be planning a future missile launch, possibly of an ICBM.

The latest reports suggest the country is in the process of moving a projectile to a launch site.

Here’s a roundup of where all the main players stand on Tuesday afternoon:

NORTH KOREA

North Korea has reportedly promised more “gift packages” are on their way.

The country has stayed largely silent since Sunday’s nuclear test most likely to gauge the reaction from South Korea and others.

KCNA KCNA / Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves at a photo session with attendants in the fourth Active Secretaries of Primary Organisation of KPA Youth in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang 1 September

THE UNITED STATES

Kim Jong-Un is “begging for war,” the US ambassador to the United Nations (UN) said on Monday at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

The heated rhetoric came as members called for punishing the country with even stronger sanctions for its powerful nuclear test.

Ambassador Nikki Haley said the US would look at countries doing business with the North - which include China - and planned to circulate a resolution this week with the goal of getting it approved by 11 September.

Joe Penney / Reuters
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley delivers remarks during a meeting by the UUN Security Council on North Korea at the UN headquarters in New York City 4 September

“Enough is enough. War is never something the United States wants. We don’t want it now. But our country’s patience is not unlimited,” Haley said.

“The United States will look at every country that does business with North Korea as a country, that is giving aid to their reckless and dangerous nuclear intentions,” she added.

PRESIDENT TRUMP

Donald Trump’s latest tweet was this which could mean anything.

CHINA

China has the economic tools to pressure North Korea but fears pushing Kim Jong-Un’s government so hard it collapses.

Though China has long been the North’s main trading partner and diplomatic protector, Kim’s nuclear and missile tests have alienated Chinese leaders, who supported last month’s UN sanctions that slash North Korean revenue by banning sales of coal and iron ore.

President Trump and others have called on China to use its leverage to do more to halt the North’s nuclear development. 

POOL New / Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives to hold a press conference at the BRICS Summit in Xiamen, Fujian province, China, 5 September

Beijing tried to head off the latest nuclear test, conducted on Sunday, by warning Pyongyang that such an event would lead to even more painful penalties.

Still, Chinese leaders worry about instability on the Korean Peninsula if Kim’s regime collapses, which would eliminate a buffer between China and South Korea, a heavily armed US ally with American troops on its soil.

RUSSIA

Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned North Korea’s latest nuclear test as “provocative” on Tuesday morning.

This comes after Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told reporters that sanctions alone will not solve the issue, and there need to be negotiations too.

Another senior Russian diplomat earlier strongly condemned North Korea’s latest nuclear test.

Sputnik Photo Agency / Reuters
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit, in Xiamen, China, 5 September

In unusually strong language, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Monday urged North Korea to “stop provocative actions that destabilize the situation”.

He said Moscow sees “a dangerous trend in how quickly North Korea is making progress” in its nuclear program.

GREAT BRITAIN

On Sunday British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, called the test “reckless” in a statement and said “all options are on the table”.

POOL New / Reuters
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson