The maps and photos that show how North Korea could attack Guam

Ausiliatrice Cristiano
Agosto 16, 2017

North Korea had said it would finalise plans by mid- August on whether to fire missiles at Guam in response to "fire and fury" threats from US President Donald Trump.

They're part of the tougher sanctions approved by the United Nations Security Council earlier this month following two intercontinental ballistic missile tests by North Korea in July. Next week's start of U.S.

But Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Tuesday reported that Kim had examined the plans but made no move towards an immediate strike. Kim appeared in photos sitting at a table with a large map marked by a straight line between what appeared to be northeastern North Korea and Guam, and passing over Japan - apparently showing the missiles' flight route.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was also asked about Kim's announcement that he would put off a potential missile strike on or near Guam. While previous administrations have been more measured, Trump's language with North Korea is more fiery, something Bruce Park of Rochester appreciates.

Senior Trump administration officials have said that the U.S. is not interested in regime change, and has no desire to "inflict harm on the long-suffering North Korean people".

Lobbing missiles toward Guam, a major USA military hub in the Pacific, would be deeply provocative from the US perspective.

A statement on the Russian foreign ministry's website said Russian and China discussed "possible ways out of the confrontational spiral on the Korean Peninsula", and that "military adventures and threats of force" against North Korea were "unacceptable".

Kim's comments, however, with their conditional tone, seemed to hold out the possibility that friction could ease if the United States made some sort of gesture that Pyongyang considered a move to back away from previous "extremely unsafe reckless actions".

That could refer to the U.S.

Either way, tensions seem set to rise as the USA and South Korea prepare to hold annual exercises, called Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, which are scheduled to run from August 21-31.

"He emphasized that the USA and China have the same goal - a denuclearised Korean peninsula achieved through peaceful means".

While the US and South Korea are unlikely to back down from the planned drills, South Korea President Moon Jae-in appeared to down play Mattis' comments Tuesday, pointing out the United States would need its approval before launching any attack on North Korea.

Moon, in a televised speech Tuesday on the anniversary of the end of World War II and the Korean Peninsula's liberation from Japanese colonial rule, said that Seoul and Washington agree that the crisis over the North's nuclear program should "absolutely be solved peacefully", and that no US military action on the Korean Peninsula could be taken without Seoul's consent. "We stand ready to defend our nation", Mattis said, echoing his warning from Monday that if North Korea fired on U.S. territory it would be "game on".

"Since yesterday we are a bit more optimistic; I think that above all Chinese pressure contributed to the statements from North Korea about definitely putting aside these ideas of firing a missile", Gabriel said in Berlin.

"In order to defuse the tension and prevent unsafe military conflict on the Korean Peninsula, it is necessary for the U.S.to make a proper option first and show it through action", he said.

"North Korean actions threaten the economic and military security of China", a US military spokesman said in a statement.

Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph Dunford, told Fang Fenghui, chief of the Joint Staff Department of the People's Liberation Army, in Beijing that North Korea's weapons programmes threatened the entire global community, including China.

But it is also ready to use the "full range" of its military capabilities in case of provocation, he said.

Japan conducted air manoeuvres with U.S. bombers southwest of the Korean peninsula on Wednesday involving two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers flying from Andersen Air Force Base on Guam and two Japanese F-15 jet fighters, Japan's Air Self Defence Force said in a news release.

The Korean People's Army's strategic forces said last week it would finalise by mid-August a plan to fire four intermediate ballistic missiles near Guam, which is about 2,000 miles from Pyongyang, and send it to Mr Kim for his approval. It would be a test of the Hwasong-12, a new missile the country flight-tested for the first time in May. The liquid-fuel missile is created to be fired from road mobile launchers and has been previously described by North Korea as built for attacking Alaska and Hawaii.

"Sim Tack, a senior analyst for private intelligence firm Stratfor, said the Japanese batteries are designed for protecting the area where they are deployed, "(they are) not meant to shoot missiles out of the sky as they pass over Japan at high altitude".

The North's latest report said Kim ordered his military to be prepared to launch the missiles toward Guam at any time.

"If the planned fire of power demonstration is carried out as the USA is going more reckless, it will be the most delightful historic moment when the Hwasong artillerymen will wring the windpipes of the Yankees and point daggers at their necks", the report said.

"You can pinch him a little but don't go so hard", said Lee, who came to the United States from South Korea in the 1990s.

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