SOUTH Korea has tested an advanced cruise missile that could wipe out Kim Jong-un from 300 miles away as the North Korean nuke crisis intensifies.
The show of force prompted North Korea’s ruling party to threaten Seoul and the US with “miserable destruction”.
Dramatic footage shows the moment South Korea's Air Force fired the Taurus missile from an F-15 fighter jet and hit a target off the country's western coast on Tuesday.
Live-fire drills are being carried out to strengthen South Korea’s pre-emptive strike capability against North Korea in the event of a crisis.
The long-range Taurus air-to-surface missiles were introduced from Germany for precision bombing of key facilities in North Korea.
They have a range of 310 miles (500km) and could attack targets in North's capital Pyongyang, even if it is fired from the central part of South Korea.
With a maximum speed of 1,163kph, the missiles could obliterate many targets in the communist country within 15 minutes.
The weapons are equipped with stealth characteristics so they avoid radar detection before hitting North Korean targets, according to Seoul's Defence Ministry.
South Korea is on course to deploy some 170 Taurus missiles as part of its on-going air defence build-up plan, Kill Chain.
The country imported around 90 more last year.
The latest drill was also designed to test the Air Force's integration of the German missile with local fighter jets and monitor performance.
"By hitting the target precisely, the exercise showed off the military's capability to respond to an enemy attack, as well as its ability to launch precision attacks on strategic targets even from a far distance," the Air Force said.
The missile was fired without an explosive device for safety reasons.
The exercise came as North Korea’s ruling party accused South Korea of “blindly dancing” to the tune of the US.
“The South Korean puppet forces disclose again their chronic evil practice of depending on outside forces while looking up to their master at a time when US-led imperialists are feeling extreme uneasiness and terror owing to the great tremor caused by the DPRK's nuclear thunder,” state media said.
“Their criminal action goes to clearly prove once again their ugly colours as henchmen carrying out outside forces' policy for aggression against the DPRK.
“The reckless sanctions and pressure upon the DPRK kicked up by them, blindly dancing to the tune of the US, are an unpardonable treacherous act of going against the aspiration of the compatriots for national reconciliation and unity and the improvement of inter-Korean relations.
“Sycophantic and treacherous acts and dependence on outside forces will lead to miserable destruction.”
A Washington State senator warned the region must start preparing for a nuclear attack because of the growing threat from North Korea.
Mark Miloscia said the danger to Pacific Northwest, which is the closest part of the US mainland to North Korea, was "starting to become imminent".
He warned that the threat was growing with each weapons test, urging lawmakers to back the bid for an emergency response plan when they meet tomorrow.
The senator – who flew nuclear-ready B52 bombers during the Cold War – also said that America could not rely on the safeguards that once prevented hostilities with the Soviet Union.
He said: "In the Cuban Missile Crisis we had the institution of the red phone, and various ways of contacting each other militarily to make sure we don't escalate.
"None of that exists with North Korea. With the current regime, we don't even have anything close to the controls over the relationships we had with the Soviet Politburo and its leaders.
"And I don't think they have any sort of rational contact with any of their neighbours that we can deal with… Given that, we hope for the best but we have to plan for the worst."
Under current rules, Washington state is prevented from planning an emergency response to a nuclear attack.
It's a throwback to the Cold War, when it was feared that planning for a nuclear strike might suggest the US was preparing to launch one itself and expected a response.
Mr Miloscia said he understood the logic, but the situation had changed and it was the duty of public officials to prepare.
"We should have some sort of pre-planned response ready," he said. "Because the threat is growing and the threat is starting to become imminent. And not to do so would be a dereliction of duty."
He continued: "I think it's a real threat, if not in the short term then in the foreseeable future… initially I thought three to five years, but it could be even sooner.
"I think we would be completely wrong to ignore it… There may be a better target for North Korea i.e. Hawaii, which is a little bit closer.
"But I would put Seattle as one of the top five targets in the north-west to go against, both militarily and economically, for any sort of adversary."
The remarks follow a series of North Korean weapons tests in recent months, including the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching US soil.
And the situation only grew tenser when Kim Jong-un tested a nuclear bomb, estimated by US intelligence to pack a 140kiloton punch – nearly ten times bigger than the Hiroshima blast.
Mr Miloscia added: "To our country, they are clearly one of our primary threats, period.
"Because when you combine an atomic capability with launch capability, that is a significant upgrade in threat. So you have to plan.
"I don't think we have that sort of threat capability and that willingness from any other nation in the world."
The changes proposed by the Republican senator and David Frockt, a Democrat, will axe the rules preventing Washington from preparing for a nuclear attack.
Mr Miloscia will put the bill before his fellow lawmakers at the state capital, Olympia, tomorrow.
He then hopes a plan can be drawn up a the same time as officials revise Washington's earthquake, tsunami and volcano response plans.
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