NEWS: North Korea expects to have Guam action plan by mid-August

Aug. 9 (UPI) — U.S. President Donald Trump’s promise to unleash “fire and fury” in response to North Korea threats is a “load of nonsense,” Pyongyang’s military said early Thursday, adding that it expects to have a military plan of action against Guam within days.

Gen. Kim Rak Gyom, commander of the Strategic Force of the Korean People’s Army, issued a statement Thursday morning saying “only absolute force” will work against someone “bereft of reason” like Trump.

The statement, published by state-run Korean Central News Agency says North Korea is “about to take” military action near the U.S. territory of Guam and a plan to do so would be finalized by mid-August.

Kim spoke one day after a spokesman for North Korea’s military told state-run KCNA that it is “now carefully examining the operational plan for making an developing fire at the areas around Guam with medium-to-long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12.”

The statement came hours after a U.S. intelligence analysis determined North Korea has made a nuclear warhead small enough to fit on a missile. Earlier Wednesday, Trump warned North Korea not to make any more threats against the United States. In July, North Korea said it would “strike a merciless blow” at the United States if Washington ever attempted to remove Kim Jong Un from power.

“They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” Trump said from his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. “[Kim] has been very threatening beyond a normal state and as I said they will be met with fire and fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.”

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Guam is home to Anderson Air Force Base, from which two U.S. B-1B bombers deployed on a mission with the South Korean and Japanese air forces on Monday. The aircraft flew over Japanese airspace before passing over the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea’s threat cited the mission, calling for a potential strike on “Anderson Air Force Base in which the U.S. strategic bombers, which get on the nerves of [North Korea] 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 U.S.”

Earlier Tuesday, unnamed U.S. officials told The Washington Post and NBC News that the Defense Intelligence Agency completed the nuclear analysis in July.

“The IC [intelligence community] assesses North Korea has produced nuclear weapons for ballistic missile delivery, to include delivery by ICBM-class missiles,” the assessment states, as read to The Post.

The report comes after North Korea launched an improved ballistic missile with intercontinental range in July, Pyongyang’s second missile launch in less than a month.

Analysts believed North Korea was years from miniaturizing a nuclear warhead, a technically demanding feat. It’s unclear whether North Korea has successfully tested the new design, though last year Kim Jong Un’s regime declared it had.

Earlier this month, the United States and the United Nations increased sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear activity.

On Tuesday, North Korea said it would take “physical action” in reaction to new U.N. sanctions.

“Packs of wolves are coming in attack to strangle a nation,” a statement from Pyongyang carried by KCNA said. “They should be mindful that [North Korea’s] strategic steps accompanied by physical action will be taken mercilessly with the mobilization of all its national strength.”
Danielle Haynes

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