WORLD N Korea re­veals plan for Guam hit

Townsville Bulletin - - WORLD -

NU­CLEAR- ARMED Nort h Korea mocked US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump as “bereft of rea­son” yes­ter­day, rais­ing the stakes in their stand- off with an un­usu­ally de­tailed plan to send a salvo of mis­siles to­wards the US ter­ri­tory of Guam.

The scheme to tar­get the is­land, a key US mil­i­tary strong­hold, was in­tended to “sig­nal a cru­cial warn­ing” as “only ab­so­lute force” would have an ef­fect on the US leader, the North said.

The dec­la­ra­tion came af­ter Mr Trump boasted on Twit­ter that Amer­ica’s nu­clear arse­nal was “far stronger and more powerful than ever be­fore”.

Ear­lier, Mr Trump stunned the world with a bold- faced mes­sage to leader Kim JongUn that ap­peared to bor­row from Py­ongyang’s own rhetor­i­cal arse­nal, say­ing the North faced “fire and fury like the world has never seen”.

The war of words over Py­ongyang’s nu­clear and mis­sile pro­grams is rais­ing fears of a mis­cal­cu­la­tion that could lead to cat­a­strophic con­se­quences on the Korean penin­sula and be­yond.

Last month the North car­ried out two suc­cess­ful tests of an in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile, bring­ing much of the US main­land within its range.

Mr Trump’s “fire and fury” re­marks were “a load of non­sense”, said Gen­eral Kim RakGyom, the com­man­der of the North’s mis­sile forces.

“Sound di­a­logue is not pos­si­ble with such a guy bereft of rea­son.” The mil­i­tary would com­plete the Guam plan by mid- Au­gust and sub­mit it to Kim Jong- Un for con­sid­er­a­tion, he said.

The dis­tinc­tively precise state­ment said the four mis­siles would be launched si­mul­ta­ne­ously and over­fly the Ja­panese pre­fec­tures of Shi­mane, Hiroshima and Koichi.

They would have a flight time of 17 min­utes 45 sec­onds, travel 3356.7km and come down 30 to 40km away from Guam, it said – which would put the im­pact points just out­side US ter­ri­to­rial wa­ters.

Ja­pan re­sponded quickly to in­sist it can “never tol­er­ate” provo­ca­tions from the reclu­sive state.

The western Pa­cific is­land of Guam is home to US strate­gic as­sets in­clud­ing lon­grange bombers and mil­i­tary jets and sub­marines.

Pro­fes­sor Yang Moo- Jin of Seoul’s Uni­ver­sity of North Korean Stud­ies said the level of de­tail in Py­ongyang’s dec­la­ra­tion was un­usual.

“The North ap­pears to be say­ing what it is go­ing to do is within in­ter­na­tional laws,” he said. “There­fore, it can­not be ruled out that the North may trans­late this plan into re­al­ity.”

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