South Korea has a plan to annihilate the North Korean capital if it shows any signs of mounting a nuclear attack, according to reports from Seoul.
A military source told the Yonhap news agency every part of Pyongyang “will be completely destroyed by ballistic missiles and high-explosives shells”.
Yonhap has close ties to South Korea’s government and is publicly funded.
On Friday North Korea carried out what it said was its fifth, and largest, nuclear test.
The international community is considering its response.
The US says it is considering its own sanctions, in addition to any imposed by the UN Security Council, Japan and South Korea.
Pyongyang responded on Sunday by calling the threats of “meaningless sanctions… highly laughable”.
The South Korean military official told Yonhap that Pyongyang districts thought to be hiding the North’s leadership would be particularly targeted in any attack. The city, the source said, “will be reduced to ashes and removed from the map”.
The BBC’s Korea correspondent Steve Evans says the South is using the same bloodcurdling rhetoric that the North frequently uses about the South Korean government in Seoul.
He says there has been rising criticism within South Korea of the government as its attempts to isolate the North have failed to deter leader Kim Jong-un’s nuclear ambitions.
News of South Korea’s attack plan for the North is believed to have been revealed to parliament following Friday’s nuclear test.