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U.S. bombers may be deployed in response to North Korea nuclear test

Joint drills targeting North Korea facilities are being planned in addition to the deployment.

By Elizabeth Shim
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U.S. bombers may be deployed in response to North Korea nuclear test
A grim-faced Defense Minister Han Min-koo gets into a car at the ministry in Seoul on Friday to leave for the National Assembly. Han is to brief lawmakers on North Korea's latest nuclear test. Earlier in the day, Pyongyang confirmed its fifth nuclear test, which Seoul blasted as an "intolerable provocation." Photo by Yonhap/UPI

SEOUL, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- South Korea said its military plans to coordinate closely with the United States in response to North Korea's fifth nuclear test, and raised the possibility U.S. B-52 and B-2 bombers may be deployed in the near future.

The plan is to strengthen the posture of the U.S.-South Korea alliance, as well as step up North Korea surveillance and demonstrations of military readiness, according to Seoul's defense ministry on Friday.

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In addition to the deployment of strategic bombers, nuclear-powered submarines are to be dispatched to warn the North. Military exercises or training that targets major North Korea facilities and leadership headquarters are also to be carried out, the ministry said, according to Yonhap.

The training exercises are to take place in the Yellow Sea and maritime training is to take place south of Jeju Island between Oct. 10 and 15.

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A second initiative to step up "psychological warfare" against the North is being planned as well, according to the report.

An electronic billboard is to be placed at the frontlines facing North Korea, South Korea said, in order to transmit messages of "abuses in North Korean society due to nuclear weapons development" and disregard for international law.

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Seoul also plans to increase the number of propaganda loudspeakers near the demilitarized zone.

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On Friday, Defense Minister Han Min-koo said the "reckless provocations" of Pyongyang will lead to stronger sanctions, pointing out North Korea is at fault for ignoring the impoverished condition of its population as it disregards the ban on tests.

"In the end [North Korea] will find itself in complete isolation and self-destruction," Han said.

North Korea stated the country can produce as "many as it wants a variety of smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear warheads of higher strike power," according to KCNA.

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