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South Korea conducts first live-fire drill for advanced cruise missile

September 13, 2017

South Korea has carried out its first live-fire drill for an advanced air-launched cruise missile.

An F-15 fighter jet on Tuesday fired a Taurus missile and hit a target on South Korea’s west coast after traveling at low altitudes and through obstacles, the country’s military said.

The missile, which has a maximum range of 310 miles, also has stealth characteristics that allow it to go undetected before striking North Korea.

The news comes as South Korea found traces of radioactive gas in air samples from North Korea’s nuclear test on Sept. 3, its sixth and most powerful test to date.

The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission said it found traces of xenon-133 isotope on nine occasions. However, the recent test could not confirm what kind of bomb was detonated because traces of other isotopes that would accompany a nuclear explosion were not found. The South Korean agency did not find traces of tritium, which is used in hydrogen bomb tests.

The nuclear test came just hours after Kim Jong Un claimed that North Korea had a hydrogen bomb that could be put onto its long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

On Monday, the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed its strongest sanctions yet on North Korea following its nuclear missile launch.

The sanctions fully ban North Korea’s textile exports and reduce its oil and petroleum exports. This means that 90 percent of the country’s exports are now banned, as well as a complete ban on the country’s overseas laborers. North Korea’s assets will be frozen and foreign investment is cut off.

North Korea threatened “thousands-fold” revenge on the United States following those sanctions, which cut North Korea’s export revenue by $1 billion, or about a third. The sanctions banned North Korea from exporting coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood.