The United States deployed additional Patriot missile systems to South Korea in 2014 as part of an effort to counter threats posed by North Korean missiles. The U.S. is now considering sanctions against North Korea if it mounts and even larger nuclear threat. File Photo courtesy of Yonhap/UPI
SEOUL, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- South Korea has a plan to destroy the North Korean capital of Pyongyang should the north mount a nuclear attack, a military official in Seoul said Sunday.
"Every Pyongyang district, particularly where the North Korean leadership is possibly hidden, will be completely destroyed by ballistic missiles and high-explosive shells as soon as the North shows any signs of using a nuclear weapon. In other words, the North's capital city will be reduced to ashes and removed from the map," the source said, according to YonHap News Agency. Yonhap is affiliated with the South Korean government and receives government funding.
"The defense ministry's operational concept, 'Korea Massive Punishment & Retaliation,' is aimed at wiping a certain section of Pyongyang completely off the map," the source said.
North Korea carried out what is believed to be its fifth and largest nuclear test on Friday, prompting the international community to consider how to respond, BBC reported.
That includes the United States, which is considering its own sanctions against North Korea on top of any that might be imposed by the U.N. Security Council, South Korea and Japan.
The North Korean government responded Sunday, calling the threats of "meaningless sanctions...highly laughable."
The military officials speaking to Yonhap said Pyongyang districts believed to be hidiing North Korea's leaders would be specifically targeted in any attack, reducing the city to ashes.
There has reportedly been rising criticism of the South Korean government as it works to isolate the country to the north, but has failed to dissuade President Kim Jong-un from further nuclear enhancements.
Sun Kim, U.S. Special Envoy to North Korea, said Washington is considering taking action against Pyongyang, as well.
"North Korea continues to present a growing threat to the region, to our allies, to ourselves, and we will do everything possible to defend against that growing threat," Kim said.
"In addition to sanctions in the security council, both the U.S. and Japan, together with [South Korea], will be looking at any unilateral measures as well as bilateral measures as well as possible trilateral cooperation."
South Korea has already developed a plan to annihilate the North Korean capital of Pyongyang through intensive bombing in case the North shows any signs of a nuclear attack, a military source in Seoul said Sunday.
"Every Pyongyang district, particularly where the North Korean leadership is possibly hidden, will be completely destroyed by ballistic missiles and high-explosive shells as soon as the North shows any signs of using a nuclear weapon. In other words, the North's capital city will be reduced to ashes and removed from the map," the source said.