NORTH KOREA — North Korea’s military is “examining the operational plan” to strike areas around Guam with medium-to-long-range strategic ballistic missiles, state-run news agency KCNA said early Wednesday local time.
Specifically, the statement mentioned a potential strike on “Andersen Air Force Base in which the US strategic bombers, which get on the nerves of the DPRK and threaten and blackmail it through their frequent visits to the sky above south Korea, are stationed and to send a serious warning signal to the US.”
Guam’s Office of Civil Defense issued a statement Wednesday saying there was no imminent threat to the safety of the US territory’s residents and visitors. Around 160,000 people live on Guam, including thousands of US troops.
“As of this morning, we have not changed our stance in confidence that the US Department of Defense is monitoring this situation very closely and is maintaining a condition of readiness, daily,” said George Charfauros, Guam’s Homeland Security Adviser, according to the statement.
“We will continue to keep the public updated on any changes or requests for action. For now, we advise the community to remain calm, remember that there are defenses in place for threats such as North Korea and to continue to remain prepared for all hazards.”
The threat from North Korea comes hours after US President Donald Trump warned Pyongyang that if it continued to threaten the US, it would “face fire and fury like the world has never seen.”
The North Korean threat elucidated in its state media is a reaction to the flight of US B-1B bombers over the Korean peninsula. The bombers flew out of Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.
While the statement in KCNA came out following Trump’s threat, it would have taken several hours to draft and translate, and refers directly to the US flights.
“In the morning of August 8 the air pirates of Guam again appeared in the sky above South Korea to stage a mad-cap drill simulating an actual war,” the statement reads.
The bombers flew out of Guam on Monday as part of the US Air Force’s “continuous bomber presence,” according to the spokesman. The bombers were joined by Japanese and South Korean aircraft during their mission.
Key military installation
Dubbed the “Tip of the Spear,” Guam is a key to the US military’s forward deployed presence in the Pacific and is home to thousands of American service members and their families.
The statement from a spokesman from the Strategic Force of the Korean People’s Army, warned that recent US military maneuvers — including an intercontinental ballistic missile test last week and a bomber flight on Monday — “may provoke a dangerous conflict.”