North Korea threatens preemptive strike on Guam

North Korea’s military is “examining the operational plan” to strike areas around the US territory of Guam with medium-to-long-range strategic ballistic missiles, state-run KCNA news agency reported.

The report quoted the spokesman for the Korean People’s Army saying that the strike plan will be “put into practice in a multi-current and consecutive way any moment” once leader Kim Jong Un makes a decision.

Specifically, the statement mentioned a potential strike on Andersen Air Force Base designed “to send a serious warning signal to the US.”

The base is one of two on the Pacific island located in the Pacific Ocean about 2,100 miles from North Korea and they are the closest bases on U.S. soil to North Korea. There are around 7,000 US military personnel on Guam.

The main base on the island is Andersen Air Force Base that is home to long-range B-1B strategic bombers that have recently been used for “show of force” missions to South Korea following North Korea’s two ICBM missile launches.

The island also houses another US military facility, the Naval Base Guam which also has a significant number of personnel. The bases are jointly called as Joint Region Marianas, which is a Navy-controlled joint base.

The North Korea comments were published after U.S. President Donald Trump warned Pyongyang that if it continued to threaten the US, it would “face fire and fury like the world has never seen.” However, the statement was dated Tuesday, suggesting the text was written before Trump’s latest spray.

Earlier Pyongyang said it was ready to give Washington a “severe lesson” with its strategic nuclear force in response to any U.S. military action.

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

The consequences of any U.S. strike would potentially be catastrophic not only for North Koreans but also South Korea, Japan and the thousands of U.S. military personnel within range of any North Korean retaliatory strikes.

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