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North Korea plans 4-missile salvo targeting Guam

SEOUL/WASHINGTON — Washington and Pyongyang continued their bellicose exchange of warnings and threats as tensions over North Korea’s nuclear arsenal further escalated.

 

On Thursday, North Korea’s state media said that Pyongyang is considering a plan to launch four intermediate range missiles simultaneously at the U.S. territory of Guam. The plan is being finalized and will be ready by mid-August, at which point it will be presented to leader Kim Jong Un, who will make a decision on whether to proceed, the report explained.

 
Citing General Kim Rak Gyom, commander of the Strategic Force of the KPA, the North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency said: “The Hwasong-12 rockets to be launched by the KPA (Korean People’s Army) will cross the sky above Shimane, Hiroshima and Kochi Prefectures of Japan. They will fly 3,356.7km (2,085.8 miles) for 1,065 seconds and hit the waters 30 to 40 km away from Guam.”

 

By disclosing details of the plan and specifically stating which Japanese prefectures the missiles would fly over, North Korea aimed to ratchet up pressure on the U.S. and Japan.

 

The North added that U.S. President Donald Trump’s “fire and fury” comments earlier this week are a “load of nonsense,” saying only “absolute force can work on him.”

 

Earlier on Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis sent a warning to North Korea, urging the country to “cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.”

 

In his statement, Mattis also called on North Korea, which has been developing nuclear weapons and missiles, to “choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons.”

 

The statement strongly urged the North to stop provocations, following U.S. President Donald Trump’s warning on Tuesday that the North would be dealt “fire and fury” if it continues threatening the U.S.

While underscoring the department’s efforts to resolve the issue through diplomacy, Mattis also noted that “the combined allied militaries now possess the most precise, rehearsed and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth.” 

 

North Korea’s actions “will continue to be grossly overmatched by ours and would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates,” he said, further calling on the reclusive country to refrain from further provocations.

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