North Korea responded to President Trump’s threats of “fire and fury” by saying that it could launch a preemptive attack on the U.S. base at Guam.
Reports that the isolated regime had miniaturized a nuclear weapon to put on a missile led to a volley of statements with White House on Tuesday, including the suggestion that a specific American target could be struck.
“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” Trump said in the afternoon, though Kim Jong Un’s state-run media responded by doing just that.
Officials are “now carefully examining the operational plan for making an enveloping fire at the areas around Guam with medium-to-long-range” missiles, Korean Central News Agency said.
U.S. should start talking with North Korea to prevent nuclear war
The report referenced the Andersen Air Force Base on the island, which has a population of about 160,000.
Though the U.S. has major military bases much closer to North Korea, in both South Korea and Japan, Pyongyang said its focus is on Guam because the territory is home to U.S. strategic nuclear bombers.
It added that the small island was “the outpost and beachhead for invading the DPRK” and that once put through command structures, Kim could put it into practice “at any moment.”
Experts do not expect a U.S. invasion of North Korea, though Trump hinted at the possibility of some military action in his comments Tuesday.
Trump warns ‘fire and fury’ after report on North Korea nukes
“They will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before,” he said of his response if continued threats are made.
North Korea’s nuclear weapons program has rankled the international community for years, though renewed attention comes after its capabilities have grown more quickly than expected.
The regime tested an intercontinental ballistic missile last month, and a report seen by the Washington Post said that it is expected to have a “reliable” long-range abilities next year.
Beyond potential offensive U.S. actions, the military has also been testing missile defense systems.
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