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North Korea 'Examining Plans' to Launch Missile Strikes Against US bases on Guam
Elected officials in Guam are reassuring constituents that the U.S. territory is safe following North Korea's claim that it is examining its plan for ``making an enveloping fire'' around the strategically important Pacific island.
In the statement issued early Wednesday in Asia, the North's Korean Central News Agency said its armed forces were "carefully examining" a plan for missile strikes on Guam. American military bases on the U.S. Pacific island territory are believed to hold the largest U.S. arsenal of nuclear weapons outside the continental United States.
A spokesman for North Korea's army was quoted as saying the strike plan will be "put into practice in a multi-current and consecutive way any moment," once an order is given by Kim Jong Un.
Guam Governor Eddie Calvo said there was no threat to the island, but also said it was "prepared for any eventuality" in a televised speech. Governor Calvo said "Guam is American soil...not just a military installation," and was assured by the White House that an attack on Guam would be considered an attack on the United States.
Madeleine Bordallo, Guam's elected congressional delegate, also expressed confidence in the ability of U.S. forces to protect the island amid North Korea's "deeply troubling" threat, but urged Trump to work with the international community to de-escalate tensions.
The moves followed a day of heated rhetoric between Washington and Pyongyang. U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday issued a stark warning to North Korea, saying if Pyongyang continues its threats against the United States, "they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”
Trump told reporters Kim Jong Un has been acting in a "very threatening" manner since the United States increased its sanctions against the reclusive communist state and won a unanimous vote by the U.N. Security Council to impose penalties on Pyongyang.
Speaking at his golf club in New Jersey, where he has been on a working vacation, Trump repeated his warning that Kim Jong Un risked bringing down on his impoverished country “fire, fury and frankly, power the likes of which the world has never seen before.”
Earlier Tuesday U.S. media outlets reported the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency has concluded that North Korea recently succeeded in building a miniaturized nuclear warhead, small enough to fit in the intercontinental ballistic missiles Pyongyang recently has test-fired.
Trump’s forceful language on Tuesday, and Pyongyang's vociferous response, revived concerns about renewed war on the Korean peninsula, where three years of combat in the early 1950s ended in stalemate.