Guam Threatened By North Korea

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North Korea US airbase in Guam threatened by North Korea as Trump promises 'fire and fury' Pyongyang claims missile strike could hit US Pacific territory, warning any American military action would provoke ‘all-out war’ Analysis: how likely is war?Explainer: where is Guam and why is North Korea threatening it?Explainer: what is the US military’s presence near North Korea? Trump threatens North Korea with ‘fire and fury’ North Korea has said it is considering a missile strike on the US Pacific territory of Guam, just hours after Donald Trump warned the regime that any threat to the United States would be met with “fire and fury”.

The threat, carried by the state-run KCNA news agency, marked a dramatic rise in tensions and prompted warnings to Washington not to become embroiled in a bellicose slanging match with North Korea. Pyongyang said it was “carefully examining” a plan to strike Guam, located 3,400km (2,100 miles) away, and threatened to create an “enveloping fire” around the territory. Guam is home to a US military base that includes a submarine squadron, an airbase and a coastguard group.

Guam’s governor, Eddie Calvo, on Wednesday attempted to reassure residents that there was “no threat” of a North Korean strike, but added that the island was prepared for “any eventuality”. Calvo added: “Guam is American soil … We are not just a military installation.” In an online video message he said he had been told by the US defence and homeland security departments that there was no change in the threat level.

Guam locator A Korean people’s army (KPA) spokesman said in a statement Wednesday that a plan would be put into practice as soon as the order to attack Guam was issued by the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un. “The KPA strategic force is now carefully examining the operational plan for making an enveloping fire at the areas around Guam with medium- to long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 in order to contain the US major military bases on Guam, including the Anderson airforce base,” the spokesman said.

KCNA quoted a second army spokesman accusing Washington of devising a “preventive war”, adding that any attempt to attack the North would provoke “all-out war, wiping out all the strongholds of enemies, including the US mainland”. The US should cease its “reckless military provocation” against North Korea to avoid such a reaction, the spokesman added. In response, South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, called for an overhaul of the country’s armed services, citing an “urgent” need to improve its ability to defend against North Korean missile attacks.

“I believe we might need a complete defence reform at the level of a rebirth, instead of making some improvements or modifications,” Moon told senior military officials, according to Yonhap news agency. “Another urgent task now facing us is securing defence capabilities to counter North Korea’s nuclear and missile provocations.” The unification ministry, which handles cross-border relations, said the threat against Guam would damage attempts to improve inter-Korean ties.

A ministry spokesman said the South was committed to dialogue and sanctions, and urged Pyongyang to end its provocations. Q&A What are North Korea's nuclear capabilities? Show Hide North Korea has carried out five nuclear tests since 2006, so it unquestionably has the capacity to create some form of nuclear bomb. To function effectively, however, the bomb needs to be small enough to fit on to a missile.

Some experts believe the North has already "miniaturised" its nuclear capability, while others believe the regime is still several years away from being able to do so. Japan's defence ministry warned on 8 August that it was possible that Pyongyang had mastered miniaturisation.  North Korea would also need a reliable delivery system for any bomb. Its proven short- and medium-range missiles could reach South Korea and Japan.

In July it test-launched two intercontinental ballistic missiles, placing US cities in range of potential attack, according to US experts. Was this helpful? Thank you for your feedback. Beijing issued a brief foreign ministry statement on Wednesday calling on “all parties to avoid any words or actions that might escalate the situation” France and Germany also called on all sides to use restraint.

“We are watching the increasing rhetorical escalation regarding the Korean Peninsula with the greatest concern,” German foreign ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer told reporters. Tensions in the region have risen since North Korea carried out two nuclear bomb tests last year and test-launched two intercontinental ballistic missiles last month. The UN security council responded last weekend by unanimously agreeing sanctions designed to deprive the regime of around a billion US dollars in hard currency.

Q&A Why is North Korea threatening Guam? Show Hide Guam, a 210 sq mile sovereign US territory in the western Pacific Ocean, is used by America as a strategic military base. Almost a third of its land is controlled by the US military and about 6,000 American troops are based there. The island's location, within range of North Korean medium- and long-range missiles, and military significance to the US make it a logical target for Pyongyang.

As recently as Monday, two US air force B-1B bombers flew from Guam to join their counterparts from South Korea and Japan for a mission over the Korean peninsula, about 2,100 miles away. Read more Was this helpful? Thank you for your feedback. North Korea’s bellicose language is causing anxiety in Japan. Its defence ministry warned on Tuesday that it was possible that Pyongyang had miniaturised its nuclear weaponry.

A leaked US intelligence assessment also claimed the regime had successfully produced a miniaturised nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles. Japanese fighters conducted joint air drills with US supersonic bombers near the Korean peninsula on Tuesday, Japan’s air self-defence forces said. A day earlier, two US B-1 bombers flew from Guam over the Korean peninsula as part of its “continuous bomber presence”, a US official said.

US security and defence officials in Guam, which is within range of North Korean medium- and long-range missiles, said there was no imminent threat to people there or elsewhere in the Northern Mariana Islands. North Korea nuclear missile range Guam’s department of homeland security and office of civil defence said they were monitoring North Korea with US military and government officials. Guam’s homeland security adviser, George Charfauros, said officials were confident that the US defence department was “monitoring this situation very closely and is maintaining a condition of readiness”.

But the speaker of the Guam legislature, Benjamin J Cruz, said people on the island were “just praying that the United States and the … defence system we have here is sufficient enough to protect us”. Cruz told the Associated Press that the threat was “very disconcerting”. He added: “It forces us to pause and to say a prayer for the safety of our people.” In his strongest warning yet to North Korea, Trump told 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.” The New Zealand prime minister condemnded Trump’s comments, in an unusually strong statement. “I think the comments are not helpful in an environment that is very tense,” Bill English told local media. He said his government had yet to express concerns to the US administration directly, but “certainly if that type of commentary continued we would”.

English added: “I think we are seeing reaction from North Korea that indicates that kind of comment is more likely to escalate rather than settle things.” But North Korea experts played down the potential for a military strike on Guam. “There’s rhetoric on both sides – it’s like two bullies in the playground yelling at each other,” said Robert Kelly, associate professor at Pusan National University.

“I think the North Koreans just pulled the Guam threat out of the air. Sure, there’s some sort of rough plan on a shelf somewhere, because Guam is an important American reinforcement point, but I don’t think there is anything immediately in the offing. “They just needed to say something in response – you poke the North Koreans in the eye and they poke you back.” Additional reporting by Eleanor Ainge Roy and agencies

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Tensions between North Korea and the United States escalated on Aug. 8, after President Trump warned the country to stop threatening the U.S. (Victoria Walker,Danielle Kunitz/The Washington Post) North Korea said it was reviewing plans to strike U.S. military targets in Guam with medium-range ballistic missiles to create “enveloping fire,” according to state media. KCNA: "The nuclear war hysteria of the U.

S. authorities including Trump has reached an extremely reckless and rash phase for an actual war." — Jonathan Cheng (@JChengWSJ) August 8, 2017 The message came hours after President Trump warned North Korea that it will be “met with fire and fury and, frankly, power, the likes of which this world has never seen before” if the country does not stop threatening the United States. The threats follow a unanimous vote by the U.

N. Security Council to impose strict new sanctions on North Korea. North Korea’s state media outlets have often warned of strikes against the United States, but the threats are usually vague and do not typically include targets this specific, the Wall Street Journal said. On Wednesday, North Korea's military said it will complete a plan by mid-August to launch four mid-range ballistic missiles over Japan and drop them within 18 to 24 miles of Guam "in order to interdict the enemy forces on major military bases on Guam and to signal a crucial warning to the U.

S.," according to Yonap, a Korean news agency, which also said the military's top commander would need to finalize the plan. That Kim Jong Un is eyeing Guam, the sovereign U.S. territory with a strategic airfield and naval station, is no surprise to the island's 160,000 people. “Every time there is some saber rattling in this part of the world, Guam is always part of the occasion,” said Robert A.

Underwood, president of the University of Guam and a former delegate to the House of Representatives. “When you’re from Guam and live on Guam, it’s disconcerting, but not unusual,” Underwood told The Washington Post. The governor of Guam, Eddie Baza Calvo, said on Aug. 9 that there has been "no change in the threat level to Guam," after North Korea and President Trump traded threats. (Eddie Baza Calvo) The governor of Guam, Eddie Baza Calvo, posted an address early Wednesday morning on YouTube, telling island residents not to worry.

“I know we woke up to media reports of North Korea’s talk of revenge on the United States and this so-called newfound technology that allows them to target Guam,” the governor said. “I'm working with Homeland Security, the rear admiral and the United States to ensure our safety, and I want to reassure the people of Guam that currently there is no threat to our island or the Marianas.” Calvo said that “there is no change in the threat level resulting from North Korea events” and that “there are several levels of defense, all strategically placed to protect our island and our nation.

” Noting that “Guam is American soil” and that “an attack or threat on Guam is an attack or threat on the United States,” Calvo said he had reached out to the White House and that officials have assured him that the island “will be defended.” “With that said, I want to ensure that we are prepared for any eventuality,” Calvo said, adding that he is convening a group “to discuss the state of readiness of our military and our local first responders.

” “May God bless the people of Guam, and may God bless the United States of America,” he concluded. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday that Guam is in no more danger than any other place, adding that North Korea’s threats naming the island as a target did not deter him from making a scheduled refueling stop there on his return from Malaysia. Still, the threat of military strikes rankled some on the island.

“I’m a little worried, a little panicked. Is this really going to happen?” Cecil Chugrad, a 37-year-old bus driver for a tour bus company in Guam, told the Associated Press. “If it’s just me, I don’t mind, but I have to worry about my son. I feel like moving (out of Guam) now.” [‘I’m worried about moose, not missiles.’ Alaskans on North Korea threat: Shrug] At about 4,000 miles west of Hawaii, and 2,200 miles southeast of North Korea, Guam is on the edge of U.

S. power in the Pacific. Its combined Navy and Air Force installation, Joint Region Marianas, is the home port for nuclear submarines, a contingent of Special Operations forces and the launching point of flights for strategic bombers conducting rotational flights over Japanese territories and in the Korean Peninsula. Guam has been a strategic linchpin since Spain relinquished control of the island to the U.

S. Navy after the Spanish-American War in 1898. Japanese forces sped to the island after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 and captured it, subjecting its people to violence that some historians estimate to have killed 10 percent of its population. The island just celebrated its 73rd Liberation Day, commemorating the start of the U.S.-led effort to liberate Guam on July 10, 1944, Underwood said.

Now, the island paradise relies on tourism and military activity to buoy its economy, which is marked by high unemployment. There have been recent efforts to grant Guam more control over its government, including support from the United Nations. Guamanians cannot cast ballots for president in U.S. elections, but they do vote for party delegates in primaries and have a nonvoting delegate to the U.S.

House of Representatives. Robert E. Kelly, an expert on North Korea at Pusan National University in South Korea, said that the North Koreans always respond to threats with the “most outlandish rhetoric” but that Pyongyang also knows that attacking the United States would be suicidal. “They’re not apocalyptic ideologues like Osama bin Laden, willing to risk everything on some suicide gamble,” Kelly said.

A confidential assessment by the Defense Intelligence Agency says that North Korea has already developed a miniaturized nuclear weapon that can fit on top of an ICBM. (The Washington Post) North Korea has warned of strikes against the United States before. Last August, the country’s Foreign Ministry said that all U.S. military bases in the Pacific would “face ruin in the face of all-out and substantial attack,” according to the AP.

This followed a 2013 warning that Kim Jong Un had ordered his military to prepare plans to attack U.S. bases in Guam, Hawaii, South Korea and the continental United States. [North Korea now making missile-ready nuclear weapons, U.S. analysts say] Guam’s growing strategic importance is due to its sovereign status, Underwood said. The United States must get clearance from ally nations like South Korea and Japan to build up its military hardware in the event of defense escalations, which can be a lengthy process.

But Guam has been used to project power with immediacy, Underwood said. The island is also home to a terminal high-altitude area defense battery, which targets ballistic missiles. The presence of THAAD systems in South Korea has drawn consternation from Pyongyang and Beijing, which view it as an escalation. A pair of B-1B Lancer bombers arrived in Guam from South Dakota this week to fly with South Korean and Japanese counterparts.

That mission follows an operation over the Korean Peninsula in late July in which the warplanes were scrambled from Guam as a response to North Korea’s second test of an intercontinental ballistic missile that experts said could be capable of reaching as far as New York. An Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber prepares to take off Tuesday for a 10-hour mission from Andersen Air Force Base on Guam.

(U.S. Air Force) It was unclear Tuesday whether the Pentagon had elevated the readiness posture of its Guam-based fleet of ships and planes after the threat from North Korea. “We always maintain a high state of readiness and have the capabilities to counter any threat, to include those from North Korea,” Johnny Michael, a spokesman for Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, said in a statement to The Post.

The numerous installations on Guam host about 6,000 troops, a number that is growing as the United States seeks to rebalance its forces in the Pacific amid the Chinese military's growing reach and North Korea’s increasingly sophisticated nuclear program. In 2014, then-Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said 60 percent of the Navy and 60 percent of combat air forces would be located in the region.

[Test firing a ballistic missile in California was routine. Growing tension with North Korea is not.] “Guam has always been a central part of our plans — certainly a central part of the Navy’s plans but now a central part of the entire Department of Defense’s plans,” he said at the time. That leaves an island of U.S. citizens watching the news closely as posturing escalates on both sides of the Pacific.

Del. Madeleine Z. Bordallo, the island's representative in the U.S. Congress, said in a statement Wednesday that “North Korea's most recent threat to target Guam is dangerous and it further heightens tensions in our region.” Underwood pointed out that “most of the time the overheated rhetoric comes from North Korea. This time it’s coming from the U.S. side.” Guamanians share two common sentiments about their role in foreign policy, Underwood said.

Media reports focus on the importance of military installations, making locals feel as if they are bit players on a large stage, he said. Others would rather shed the crosshairs. “People say ‘I hate being a target. We’re the tip of the spear. Why can’t we be another part of the spear?’ ” Underwood said. But Guam also has a proud tradition of supplying U.S. troops, with a disproportionate number of recruits coming from there and American Samoa, Underwood said.

Eighteen Guamanian troops have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, pointing to an outsize sacrifice for a territory with a population smaller than that of Eugene, Ore. “We have more skin and more land in the game,” Underwood said. This post has been updated. Read more: Tillerson to North Korea: ‘We are not your enemy’ Why Trump’s North Korea warnings were ‘unnecessary, scary, irresponsible’ Trump’s ‘fire and fury’ statement echoes North Korea’s own threats

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