N Korea Con­sid­ers Mis­sile Strike on Guam Af­ter Trump’s Warn­ing

Trump had told North Korea that any threat to the US would be met with ‘fire and fury’

The Economic Times - - Around The World -

Seoul: Nor t h Kor e a s a i d o n Wed­nes­dayi­tis­con­sid­er­ing­plans­fora mis­sile strike on the US Pa­cific ter­ri­tory of Guam, just hours af­ter Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump told the North that any threat to the United States would be met with “fire and fury”.

The sharp in­crease in ten­sions rat­tled fi­nan­cial mar­kets and prompted warn­ings from US of­fi­cials and an­a­lysts not to en­gage in rhetor­i­cal slang­ing matches with North Korea, which reg­u­larly threat­ens to de­stroy the United States.

North Korea said it was “care­fully ex­am­in­ing” a plan to strike Guam, which is home to about 163,0 0 0 peo­ple and a US military base that in­cludes a sub­ma­rine squadron, an air­base and a Coast Guard group. A Korean Peo­ple’s Army spokesman said in a state­ment car­ried by state-run KCNA news agency the plan would be put into prac­tice at any mo­ment, once leader Kim Jong Un made a de­ci­sion. Guam Gover­nor Ed­die Calvo dis­missed the threat and said the is­land was pre­pared for “any even­tu­al­ity” with strate­gi­cally placed de­fences. He said he had been in touch with the White House and there was no change in the threat level.

“Guam is Amer­i­can soil ... We are not just a military in­stal­la­tion,” Calvo said in an on­line video mes­sage. North Korea, which is pur­su­ing mis­sile and nu­clear weapons pro­grammes in de­fi­ance of UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions, also ac­cused the United States of de­vis­ing a “pre­ven­tive war” and said in an­other state­ment that any plans to ex­e­cute this would be met with an “all-out war, wip­ing out all the strongholds of en­e­mies, in­clud­ing the US main­land”.

Wash­ing­ton has warned it is ready to use force if needed to stop North Korea’s bal­lis­tic mis­sile and nu­clear pro­grams but that it prefers global di­plo­matic ac­tion, in­clud­ing sanc-

Guam be­came a US ter­ri­tory in 1898. It has lim­ited self-gov­ern­ment. Res­i­dents do not pay US in­come taxes but na­tives are US cit­i­zens by birth.

The US keeps a Naval base and Coast Guard sta­tion in the south, and an Air Force base in the north. The Amer­i­can military wants to in­crease its pres­ence by re­lo­cat­ing to Guam thou­sands of Marines who are cur­rently based in Ok­i­nawa. tions. The UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil unan­i­mously im­posed new sanc­tions on North Korea on Satur­day.

T r u mp i s s ue d h i s s t r o n g e s t warn­ing yet for North Korea in com­ments to re­porters in New Jer­sey on Tues­day. “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” Trump said.

US Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son, be­fore land­ing in Guam on a pre-ar­ranged visit, said Trump was try­ing to send a strong mes­sage.

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