Hours after Donald Trump threatens “fire and fury’’, North Korea warned it is considering a missile strike on the US Pacific territory of Guam.
U.S Donald Trump had warned the regime that any threat to the United States would be met with “fire and fury”.
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The threat, carried by the state-run KCNA news agency, marked a dramatic rise in tensions and prompted warnings to Washington not to become embroiled in a bellicose slanging match with North Korea.
Pyongyang said it was “carefully examining” a plan to strike Guam, located 3,400km (2,100 miles) away, and threatened to create an “enveloping fire” around the territory.
Guam is home to a US military base that includes a submarine squadron, an airbase and a coastguard group.
A Korean people’s army (KPA) spokesman said in a statement that the plan would be put into practice as soon as the order to attack Guam was issued by the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un.
“The KPA strategic force is now carefully examining the operational plan for making an enveloping fire at the areas around Guam with medium- to long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 in order to contain the US major military bases on Guam, including the Anderson airforce base,” the spokesman said.
KCNA quoted a second army spokesman accusing Washington of devising a “preventive war”, adding that any attempt to attack the North would provoke “all-out war, wiping out all the strongholds of enemies, including the US mainland”.
The US should cease its “reckless military provocation” against North Korea to avoid such a reaction, the spokesman added.
Tensions in the region have risen since North Korea carried out two nuclear bomb tests last year and test-launched two intercontinental ballistic missiles last month. The UN security council responded last weekend by unanimously agreeing sanctions designed to deprive the regime of around a billion US dollars in hard currency.
North Korea’s bellicose language is causing anxiety in Japan, whose defence ministry warned on Tuesday that it was possible that Pyongyang had miniaturised its nuclear weaponry, while a leaked US intelligence assessment claimed the regime had successfully produced a miniaturised nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles.
Japanese fighters conducted joint air drills with US supersonic bombers near the Korean peninsula on Tuesday, Japan’s air self-defence forces said. A day earlier, two US B-1 bombers flew from Guam over the Korean peninsula as part of its “continuous bomber presence”, a US official said.
US security and defence officials in Guam, which is within range of North Korean medium- and long-range missiles, said there was no imminent threat to people there or elsewhere in the Northern Mariana Islands.
Read more: Guardian