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North Korea threatens to launch preemptive strike on Guam

News Agencies | Updated on: 9 August 2017, 14:53 IST

North Korea military is "preparing and examining" a plan to launch a missile strike on the strategic U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, just hours after President Donald Trump warned the regime that any threat to the United States would be met with "fire and fury".

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.

North Korea issued the warning through its state-run KCNA news agency, wherein it was specifically mentioned that a potential strike could be launched 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, which are the closest bases on US soil to North Korea, and represent western most tip of the country's military might, the CNN reported.

Taking into account the threat and the fear of residents,Guam's governor, Eddie Baza Calvo, released a video address , reassuring the island's residents that there was no escalated threat.

"I want to reassure the people of Guam that currently there is no threat to our island or the Marianas," he said.

"I also want to remind national media that Guam is American soil and we have 200,000 Americans in Guam and the Marianas. We are not just a military installation."

.The US Department of Defense reiterated its capability to counter North Korean aggression.

"We always maintain a high state of readiness and have the capabilities to counter any threat, to include those from North Korea," spokesman Johnny Michael said.

Guam is home to a US 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.

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


First published: 9 August 2017, 14:53 IST