North Korea said Wednesday it was considering using intermediate-range ballistic missiles near Guam, the U.S. territory that is home to strategic military installations, dramatically raising tensions with the United States.
The country’s military said it was “carefully examining the operational plan for making an enveloping fire at the areas around Guam with medium-to-long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12,” according to a statement carried by the the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). The news agency reported that Kim Jong Un was reviewing the plan. Yonhap, the South Korean news agency, reported that a separate North Korean statement vowed an all-out war if the U.S. launched a “preventive war” against the North.
The threat came hours after President Trump vowed to respond with “fire and fury” if North Korea threatens the United States, comments that were made in apparent response to a Defense Intelligence Agency assessment that North Korea might already possess a miniaturized nuclear warhead that it could place inside an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the U.S. The escalating tensions came days after the UN Security Council unanimously voted to impose the toughest-ever sanctions on the North for testing two ICBMs last month. It was not immediately clear whether the threat to strike near Guam was in response to Trump’s statement or the UN action.