North Korea has made fresh threats to attack the U.S. territory of Guam with a ‘salvo of missiles’ after a recent aviation exercise over the peninsula.
In a statement published in North Korean state media, Pyongyang said the military drills ‘lets us take our hand closer to the ‘trigger’ for taking the toughest countermeasure’.
It came in response to two US Air Force supersonic heavy bombers being flown over the Korean peninsula in a show of force against Pyongyang on Tuesday night.
Two B-1B Lancers based in Guam flew a mission in the vicinity of the Sea of Japan, staging the first night-time joint aviation exercises with Japan and South Korea the US Pacific Air Forces said in a statement.
n August, North Korea threatened to fire a salvo of intermediate range missiles toward the U.S. Pacific island territory.
Guam is a major military hub and home to U.S. bombers that periodically fly missions over the divided Korean Peninsula.
Yesterday, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said there’s ‘great concern’ about Americans who live in Guam.
Speaking at a White House news conference he said: ‘right now we think the threat is manageable,’ but added the situation would become more problematic over time if North Korea’s capability ‘grows beyond where it is today.’
‘Let’s hope that diplomacy works,’ he said.
Today’s fresh threat was published in North Korean state media, according to CNN’s Will Ripley who shared the statement on Twitter.
It also said that North Korea has ‘already warned several times that we will take counteractions for self-defence including a salvo of missiles into waters near the US territory of Guam’.
It is unlikely to have any effect on next week’s planned major joint-navy drill between Sourth Korea and the U.S.
In a statement the US 7th Fleet said the USS Ronald Regan aircraft carrier and two US destroyers would take part in the drill alongside South Korean Navy vessels.
The exercise, slated for October 16 to 26 in the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea, would promote ‘communications, interoperability, and partnership,’ the statement added.
The move will likely rile Pyongyang which had previous warned against any upcoming joint exercises.
If US imperialists and the South Korean puppets ignite a nuclear war of aggression against us, it would only advance their own demise,’ the state-run KCNA news agency said.
On Friday the nuclear-powered USS Michigan submarine arrived at South Korea’s southern port of Busan, according to Yonhap news agency, just days after another nuclear-powered submarine – the USS Tuscon – left after a five day visit.
President Donald Trump has engaged in an increasingly escalating war of words with North Korean strongman Kim Jong-Un, trading insults amid rising tensions between the two nuclear-armed rivals.
On Tuesday Trump discussed ‘a range of options’ with his national security team to respond to North Korea’s recent missile and nuclear tests.
It came days after he said that diplomatic efforts with North Korea have consistently failed, adding that ‘only one thing will work’.
The North’s missile and nuclear capabilities have made significant progress under Kim, who on Saturday told party officials that the country’s atomic weapons were a ‘treasured sword’ to protect it from aggression.