Go Search Go Contents Go to bottom site map

(2nd LD) N.K. threatens to fire four missiles toward Guam

2017/08/10 08:06

Article View Option

(ATTN: REWRITES lead; UPDATES with more info throughout)

SEOUL, Aug. 10 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's military said Thursday it is considering a plan to fire four intermediate-range ballistic missiles around Guam, home to strategically important U.S. Air Force and Navy bases.

In a tit-for-tat of bellicose rhetoric, North Korea's Strategic Force said that it will finalize the plan by mid-August and report it to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and await his order, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

It said that the Hwasong-12 missiles will cross the sky above the Shimane, Hiroshima and Koichi prefectures of Japan and fly 3,356.7 kilometers for about 18 minutes before landing 30 to 40 km away from Guam.

The move is aimed at "interdicting the enemy forces on major military bases on Guam and to signal a crucial warning to the U.S.," the report said in an English statement.

The North's threat came as U.S. President Donald Trump warned Tuesday that North Korea will be met with "fire and fury" should it stick to ambitions to hit the U.S. with ballistic missiles.

"Sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him," Kim Rak-gyom, the commander of the North Korean military unit in charge of missile launches, was quoted as saying by the KCNA.

Guam hosts various types of high-profile U.S. military weapon systems, including B-1B and B-52 strategic bombers, as well as the THAAD missile defense system.

Earlier this week, two B-1B Lancers flew over Korea again in a joint training with South Korean fighter jets. It reportedly takes only two hours for the supersonic bomber to reach Korea from Guam.

The North has responded sensitively to such a deployment.

Tensions have escalated amid the North's talk of retaliation against Washington in response to the United Nations Security Council's adoption of a new sanctions resolution against the regime for its continued launch of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

The nuclear-armed Korea fired an ICBM, called the Hwasong-14, on July 4, followed by another one that traveled a longer distance in late July.

Experts said that the second one may have put much of the U.S. mainland within range, including Los Angeles and Chicago.

The U.S. has concluded that the secretive nation has successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles, The Washington Post said Tuesday in a report based on the U.S. intelligence community's assessment.

Experts said that North Korea is likely to continue its bellicose threats as Seoul and Washington will conduct their annual joint military drills starting in late August.

Pyongyang has claimed that the exercise is a rehearsal for invasion despite reassurance by the allies that it is defensive in nature.

This image captured from footage of North Korea's state broadcaster on July 29, 2017, shows North Korea's firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile a day earlier. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap) This image captured from footage of North Korea's state broadcaster on July 29, 2017, shows North Korea's firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile a day earlier. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr

(END)

angloinfo.com