Seoul, Oct 10 The South Korean Defence Ministry said on Monday its military would pre-emptively strike North Korea in case a nuclear attack by Pyongyang was imminent.
The statement by ministry spokesman Moon Sang-kyun came on the foundation day of the the Workers' Party of Korea in 1945.
On September 9, North Korea announced its successful test of a nuclear warhead that can be mounted on ballistic missiles. It came just eight months after its fourth nuclear detonation in early January.
A pre-emptive strike against the nuclear facilities has long been shunned by previous South Korean governments as it can lead to an all-out war on the Korean peninsula, Xinhua reports.
However, the advances in Pyongyang's nuclear and missile capabilities caused super hard-line calls from a fraction of conservative figures, with some even demanding the nuclear armament of South Korea.
An officer with South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said at a press briefing that North Korea has prepared for another nuclear test that can be conducted at any time if its leadership decides on it.
The officer said South Korea's military is closely monitoring and tracking relevant situations with all possibilities.