11 August 2017

News Story: Washington, Pyongyang step up war rhetoric, further escalate tensions over Korea nuclear issue

BEIJING, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Amid widespread concerns of the international community, the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) have stepped up their exchange of tough words regarding Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs.

In the latest of the increasingly intense war of words, Pyongyang said it would prepare a plan by mid-August to strike the U.S. territory of Guam with intermediate missiles, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Thursday.

General Kim Rak Gyom, commander of the Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army (KPA), was quoted as saying in a statement that the country's Strategic Force is mulling an "enveloping strike" using four missiles targeting waters 30-40 km off the coast of Guam.

The KPA will act to strike Guam upon order of DPRK leader Kim Jong Un, also the country's top nuclear commander, the KCNA cited the military official as saying.

Pyongyang first announced the plan to strike Guam on Wednesday, saying the planned move is to "interdict the enemy forces on major military bases on Guam and to signal a crucial warning to the United States."

The announcement was believed to be in response to earlier remarks of U.S. President Donald Trump threatening "fire and fury like the world has never seen" against the DPRK.

Trump's remarks came as the world was digesting an official Japanese report and a classified U.S. intelligence document, as reported by the Washington Post, both of which suggest that the DPRK was closer to being able to strike the United States with a nuclear missile than previously thought. It is yet unknown if the Trump war rhetoric has anything to do with these reports.

Read the full story at Xinhua