North Korea details Guam strike plan and calls Trump warning ‘nonsense’

Pyongyang tells it will launch four missiles into water 30 -4 0km off US territory in clear attempt to goad the US president

North Korea has eluded menaces of flame and frenzy from Donald Trump, deriding his warning as a loading of nonsense and announcing a detailed plan to launching rockets aimed at the waters off the coast of the US Pacific territory of Guam.

A statement assigned to General Kim Rak Gyom, the head of the countrys strategic forces-out, proclaimed: Sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force-out can work on him. The general outlined a plan to to be implemented by a demo launching of four intermediate-range missiles that would fly over Japan and then land in the sea around Guam, enveloping the island.

The Hwasong-1 2 rockets to be launched by the KPA[ Korean People Army] will cross the sky above Shimani, Hiroshima and Koichi prefectures of Japan, the statement said. They will fly for 3,356.7 km for 1,065 seconds and reached the water 30 to 40 km away from Guam.

The statement said the plan for this present of force would be ready by the middle of this month and then await orders from the commander-in-chief, Kim Jong-un.

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The statement was clearly designed as a show of bravado, calling the Trump administrations bluff after the presidents threat and a statement from the defence secretary, James Mattis, both stressing the overwhelming power of the US military. North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met by fire and fury like the world has never seen, Trump said on Wednesday.

The response from Pyongyang was its most public and detailed menace to date, and plainly meant to goad the US president. Trump had let out a loading of nonsense about fire and fury failing to grasp the ongoing grave situation. This is extremely getting on the nerves of the infuriated Hwasong artillerymen of the KPA.

The US has a naval base in Guam and the island is home to Andersen air base, which has six B-1B heavy bombers. According to NBC news the non-nuclear bombers have constructed 11 practise sorties since May in readiness for a potential ten-strike on North Korea. The remote island is home to 162,000 people.

South Koreas military said on Thursday that North Koreas statements were a challenge against Seoul and the US-South Korea alliance. Joint chiefs of staff spokesman Roh Jae-cheon told a media briefing that South Korea was prepared to act immediately against any North Korean provocation.

The announcement on the North Korean state news service KCNA came at the end of two days of brinksmanship which began with the leak of a US intelligence report that Pyongyang had developed a nuclear warhead small enough to put on a missile. This was followed by Trumps warning of fire and frenzy. On Wednesday the US defence secretary, James Mattis, told a North Korean attack would risk the end of its regime and the demolition of its people.

In the event of such a launch by North Korea, the US military faces the dilemma of trying to intercept the incoming missiles and risking mortification if it fails. Trump would have to decide whether to try to a carry out a pre-emptive strike on the Hwasong launchpads or a retaliation ten-strike if the launch went ahead. The North Korean military has frequently tested rockets that land in the sea off the Japanese coast, without a military replies from Tokyo.

For the[ North Koreans] to telegraph a move like this is extraordinary. But its likely their way of trying not to trigger a war, told Joshua Pollack, a senior research associate at Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. He said that if the launch went ahead as laid out in the statement, legal restrictions on shooting down weapon exams might not apply.

The reason you cant shoot down a test is that it doesnt enter a defended area. But that wouldnt be the case with bracketing fire, Pollack said in a thread of tweets. He argued that the exchange of threats and the missile plans underlined the need to open a military hotline between the US and North Korea to mitigate the dangers of catastrophic miscalculation by either side.

If they do carry out that scheme, both sides might discover that they need a crisis management mechanism sooner than not, Pollack told.

Mattiss reminder to Pyongyang that the allied militaries possess the most precise, rehearsed and robust defensive and offensive abilities on Earth capped an unprecedented 24 hours of sabre-rattling sparked by Donald Trumps surprise threat to rain flame and fury down on the Pyongyang regime.

Despite the harsh rhetoric, there was no change in US military deployments or alert status. Mattis couched his remarks in the language of traditional deterrence, inducing clear that such overwhelming force would be used in the event of a North Korean attack.

Trump without consulting his own security faculty had warned of a devastating onslaught like the world has never seen if Kims government persisted in threats against the US. But that line was intersected within hours when Pyongyang announced it was carefully investigating a plan for a missile strike and enveloping fire around Guam.

The US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, also expended much of Wednesday struggling to contain the fallout from Trumps menaces, assuring Americans they could sleep well at night, and reassuring shocked allies that there was no imminent threat of war.

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