Hours after President Donald Trump said he’d
respond to more North Korean threats on the US with “fire and fury”
unlike the world had ever seen, North Korea responded with a threat:
saying it was considering a missile strike on Guam. “He has been very threatening beyond a normal state,” Trump said of
Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s leader, looking straight into the assembled
cameras. “As I said they will be met with fire, fury, and frankly power,
the likes of which this world has never seen before.”
Just more than two hours later, North Korea’s military released a
statement mentioning that it would consider striking Guam, an island in
the Pacific home to a massive Air Force base and US nuclear strategic
assets, with Hwasong-12s, intermediate-range missiles first tested in
North Korea said at the time the missile could carry a heavy nuclear
warhead, and independent analysis seems to fit with that statement.
George Charfauros, the Homeland Security Adviser to Guam, sought to calm
the island’s residents, saying its defenses were ready, but Guam’s Gov.
Eddie Calvo took a more sobering tone, telling people “I want to ensure
that we are prepared for any eventuality.”
Watch Gov. Calvo’s two-minute special address below:
North Korea specifically mentioned the US’s nuclear-capable bombers
in Guam, saying they “get on the nerves of DPRK and threaten and
blackmail it through their frequent visits to the sky above Korea.”
Usually in response to North Korean missile tests, the US will fly these
bombers above the Korean peninsula.
CNN’s Jim Sciutto reported that the US flew two B1-B bombers over the Korean Peninsula out of Anderson AFB in Guam, part of “continuous bomber presence.”
But the US maintains a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense missile
interceptor in Guam specifically made to protect from medium-range
missiles. THAAD has performed well in test conditions but never
intercepted a shot fired in hostility.
“We always maintain a high state of readiness and have the
capabilities to counter any threat, to include those from North Korea,”
Lt. Col. Christopher Logan, a Pentagon spokesperson told Business
After the UN Security Council, which includes the US, voted
unanimously in favor of heavy sanctions on North Korea over the weekend,
Pyongyang responded that it would teach the US a “severe lesson” that
exacted a “thousand-fold” revenge on the US.