North Korea threatens missile strike near U.S. territory Guam

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 9, 2017

North Korea said Wednesday that it was examining operational plans for attacking Guam, an angry reaction to new United Nations sanctions for its intercontinental ballistic missile tests and a US suggestion about preparations for possible preventive attacks to stop the North's nuclear weapons program.

What's much less certain, however, is whether the North's missiles can inflict serious damage once they reach Guam.

"I'm a little anxious, a little panicked".

Analysts say the Pukguksong-2 advances North Korea's weapons capabilities because missiles using solid propellants can be fired faster and more secretly than those using liquid fuel, which must be fueled before launch and transported to a launch site using trucks that could be spotted by satellites.

Tuesday's developments arose after a Japanese defence paper and US media reports said North Korea had crossed a nuclear Rubicon.

North Korea's threat came after Trump's extraordinary remarks at his New Jersey resort of Bedminster Tuesday.

A spokesman for the Korean People's Army said the strike plan would be "put into practice in a multi-current and consecutive way any moment" once leader Kim Jong-un made a decision, the North's state-run KCNA news agency said in a statement on Wednesday.

"We do not seek a regime change", Tillerson told reporters before his departure. "If South Korea and Japan say we could (launch attacks) out of there, taking out Guam becomes nearly meaningless". She said: "He has to decide". "Everyone's afraid, because we're dealing with powers that's beyond us". Previous administration comments have focused on finding non-military solutions.

Speaking from Guam, journalist Robert Santos said local reaction to the threats was mixed.

"As a planner, I'd rather have three carriers than two", plus additional Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps fighters, said Schuster, now a Hawaii Pacific University professor. While the goal of Daniel Jean's Pyongyang trip was to assist Hyeon Soo Lim, a Canadian official added: "That doesn't preclude. discussing other issues of regional concern".

However, the brothers say they haven't seen anyone panicking or stocking up on supplies. "I don't know what he's saying and I've long ago given up trying to interpret what he says".

The strip of land in the western Pacific Ocean is roughly the size of Chicago, and just 4 miles (6 km) wide at its narrowest point.

USA intelligence analysts say North Korea has developed a warhead that fits on its ballistic missiles, including an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching US territory, according to The Washington Post.

"Among the steps we should immediately consider are further economic sanctions aimed at those who continue to trade w/ North Korea". "Don't gloss over the fact that Trump threatened what can only be interpreted as a nuclear attack on North Korea if Kim Jong-un taunts him", he wrote.

It is home to 6,000 U.S. military personnel, a number expected to nearly double when thousands of U.S. Marines move there from Japan, under a delayed bilateral agreement aimed at reducing the U.S. military footprint on southern island of Okinawa.

"We do not hide that we already have in full readiness the diversified strategic nuclear strike means which have the USA mainland in our striking range", the statement, which ran more than 1,700 words, said.

Should US allies refuse to let the military to launch strikes from their territory, Guam would be the most likely place from which to launch airstrikes on North Korea, Schuster says, adding that this is how Kim will regard it. "While we have heard threats like this in the past, I take them very seriously".

"An attack or threat to Guam is a threat or attack on the United States", said Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo, who said he spoke with White House officials Monday morning.

"They've slowly developed their capabilities but we stand in high confidence with the US (Defense Department's) ability to not only defend Guam and the surrounding areas but also the continental US".

Bussewitz reported from Honolulu.

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