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North Korea threatens, says next target is Guam

News Agencies | Updated on: 30 August 2017, 11:35 IST
North Korea threatens, says next target is Guam. (ANI)

North Korea has threatened the United States by saying that the second step of its military operations involving the Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile will be directed at the U.S.Pacific island of Guam.

The North Korean missile Hwasong-12 launch over Japan's northern Hokkaido island was "the first step of the military operation of the (North Korean military) in the Pacific and a meaningful prelude to containing Guam," North Korean state media warned 30 August.

US President Donald Trump has warned Pyongyang that "all options are on the table" after state-run Korean Central News Agency reported that leader Kim Jong- Un presided over the dawn launch on 29 August of the "ultra-modern rocket system," the first missile ever fired from the capital Pyongyang. Till date,Kim Jong-un has authorized more than 80 missile tests since taking power almost six years ago.

29 August, tuesday's launch has further escalated tensions between North Korea and the United States and its allies, Japan and South Korea as it was North Korea's first ballistic missile to fly over Japan.

North Korean officials told CNN in Pyongyang that Kim was "very satisfied with the performance of the missile."

Guam governor's office said in a statement there is no change in the island's threat level.

"We knew, based on North Korea events in previous years, that with the joint exercise between the US, South Korea, and its Allies, we can expect rhetoric and activity in North Korea," CNN quoted George Charfauros, Guam Homeland Security Adviser as saying.

"It is important to remember that the U.S. Department of Defense capabilities are more than competent and stand ready to defend the US, its territories and allies."

Guam is home to a U.S. military base that includes a submarine squadron, an airbase and a coastguard group and is armed with the U.S. Army's missile defense system known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, the same system recently installed in South Korea.

One is Andersen Air Force base, from which the US has been staging B-1 bomber flights over the Korean Peninsula, often in response to North Korea's missile tests.

Guam is capable for an integrated bomber operation as it has nuclear-capable bomber trio B-1B Lancer, B-2 Spirit, and B-52 bombers fighters.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe both now believe "pressure on North Korea should be raised to its limit so that North Korea will voluntarily come to the table for dialogue," South Korean presidential spokesman Park Su-hyun said in a statement 30 August.

United National Security Council held an emergency session late 29 August afternoon to discuss the next steps.The 15 Security Council members has unanimously adopted a statement condemning North Korea's "outrageous actions" in launching the missile over Japan and launching three missiles last Saturday. The statement called North Korea's launchings "not just a threat to the region but all U.N. member states."


First published: 30 August 2017, 11:35 IST