North Korea Warns That Its Missiles Will Land Near Guam
KCNA, North Korea's state-owned news agency,has outlined details of the country’s Guam strike plan expected to be ready by mid-August. It was reported that likely the attack will include four missiles fired over Japan and landing within, perhaps, a dozen miles of US territory.
Continuing the exchange with US President Donald Trump, North Korea's news agency maintained that the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, will be presented with an elaborate plan of the attack by mid-August, it was reported on Wednesday.
News sources indicated that the plan envisions launching four Hwasong-12 rockets that would “cross the sky above Shimane, Hiroshima and Koichi Prefectures of Japan.”
It is estimated that the missiles are set to “fly 3,356.7km (2,085.8 miles) for 1,065 seconds” before practically reaching the shores of Guam, landing in the waters just “30-40km away.”
Pyongyang also ridiculed Trump’s promise to counter any incoming threats from the North with “fire and fury,” labelling the remark a “load of nonsense” and in its turn vowing to act with “absolute force.”
Trump’s initial remark courted controversy, prompting Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to reassure Americans that North Korea poses “no immediate danger” to US, while Defense Secretary James Mattis stated that Washington is sure in its military preeminence, urging North Korea to refrain from “consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.”
Trump’s national security aide Sebastian Gorka compared the current escalation between US and North Korea to the Cuban crisis of 1962, calling on US lawmakers to back Trump’s stance in the unfolding crisis.
"This is analogous to the Cuban missile crisis. We need to come together," Gorka said in an interview to Fox and Friends on Wednesday, recalling that “during the Cuban missile crisis, we stood behind JFK.”
Speaking about Washington’s military edge, he described the US as “not just a superpower” but a “hyperpower,” at the same time playing down the dangers posed by the North, calling it a “very, very insignificant threat in terms of scale.”
While Trump’s sharp tone has given rise to concern within the part of the US establishment, with Senator John McCain casting doubt that the US leader is ready back up his rhetoric with real actions, others appeared to be quite enthusiastic, estimating US chances in a face-to-face military confrontation.
Retired Gen. Tom McInerney argued that the US would emerge victorious, with its ability to level North Korea within 15 minutes in case it launches an attack on South Korea.
For its part, Russia again appealed for both sides to show restraint and to resume dialogue to defuse the tensions building up in the region.
Russia's UN envoy called for what he called a "political dialogue" on the matters causing increased tension.
The envoy said that he hopes that the United States will “refrain from any moves that would provoke another party into actions that might be dangerous.”
The U.S. & Allies Fly Jets Over Korean Peninsula
On Sunday U.S., Japanese and South Korean jets flew over the Korean peninsula as part of a military exercise intended as response to Friday's missile launch by North Korea, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Pacific Air Forces.
Whereas U.S. and South Korean officials say that Friday's missile launch involved an ICBM rocket, which they say could reach almost any place on the U.S. mainland, Russian officials say that the rocket launched was an intermediate missile, with a range of between 1820 miles to 3,400 miles.
The distance between Korea and the West Coast of the United states is about 8,400 miles.
In contrast, an ICBM has a range of about 6,000 miles.
In addition to the jet flyovers, which involved Japanese and South Korean jet fighters and the U.S. supersonic B-1B Lancer, U.S. and South Korean militaries fired live surface-to-surface missiles from rocket launchers, reportedly in response to Friday's rocket launch.
The U.S. surface-to-surface missiles involved what's called the Tactical Missile System as well as South Korean missiles' called Hyunmoo Missile II.
According to reports, on Saturday missiles reached the East Sea. This is the same area where North Korea's ballistic missile is believed to have landed.
Following the rocket's launching on Friday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said the launch of what might have been a medium-range missile was a "stern warning" to the United States such that it is not safe from retaliation if the U.S. and its allies strike at North Korea, according to KNCA, North Korea's state-owned news agency.
In related news, the commander of the Pacific Air Forces was quoted as saying "North Korea remains the most urgent threat to regional stability." He said that the U.S. and its allies are ready to respond with "rapid" and "lethal" force at a time of "our choosing".
For his part, Kim Jon-un called the "successful ICBM test-fire" another victory in dealing a "heavy blow" to the U.S. and its allies.
He said that if the United States seeks and imposes new sanctions there will be what he called a "stern action of justice".
He applied this warning to U.S. "military adventurism" and "super intensive sanctions".
China, for its part, has indicated that it is opposed to North Korean missile launches, maintaining that such events violate UN Security Council resolutions, which prohibit North Korea from engaging in nuclear and missile programs.
China's Foreign Ministry has called on all parties, including the United States and South Korea, to exercise restraint and caution, with the stated hope that tensions will not escalate.
In the meantime, Rex Tillerson, U.S. Secretary of State, recently spoke with Fumio Kishida, Japan's Foreign Minister, on ways of applying the greatest possible presssure on North Korea.
As well, they discussed presenting to the UN Security a new resolution, which would include what were called "severe measures" and working with China and Russia with regard to the ongoing situation.
At the same time, comments recently posted by Donald Trump expressed displeasure with China.
For example, one of his comments posted at Twitter read, "Our foolish past leaders have allowed them (China) to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade.. Yet they do nothing for us with North Korea...We will no longer allow this to continue.."
In an earlier tweet, Mr. Trump wrote that he was very disappointed in China.
APS Radio News
Trump Calls North Korea's ICBM Launch "Reckless"
President Donald Trump is condemning North Korea's test of its second intercontinental ballistic missile as a threat to the world.
Trump says these tests further isolate North Korea, weaken its economy and deprive its people. Trump says the U.S. will take all ``necessary steps'' to protect the homeland and well as U.S. allies in the region, including Japan and South Korea.
Officials say the missile that North Korea test-fired on Friday flew longer and higher than the first one.
Trump says North Korea's actions are ``reckless and dangerous.''
U.S. and South Korean forces have conducted joint live-fire exercises in response to North Korea's 2nd launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
The U.S. 8th Army said Saturday's training event by its troops and the South Korean army was conducted to demonstrate their ``precision firing capability'' and ``exercise assets countering North Korea's missile launch'' late Friday. The 8th Army says the exercise used the Army Tactical Missile System and South Korea's Hyunmoo Missile II.
The ICBM launched Friday flew longer than any North Korean missile before it, and experts say a large portion of the U.S. is now within range of Pyongyang's arsenal.
North Korea's latest intercontinental ballistic missile test has been condemned by France, which is calling for ``strong and additional sanctions'' by the United Nations and European Union.
The ICBM launched Friday was North Korea's second, and flew longer than the first one did. Experts say the test puts much of the U.S. within the North's range.
The Foreign Ministry's strongly worded statement says the test is a ``new grave violation'' of U.N. Security Council resolutions and a ``major step in the illegal development'' of North Korean missiles. France says the continued development of the missile program is a ``growing threat and unacceptable to all.''
The statement says, ``Only maximal diplomatic pressure might bring North Korea to the negotiating table,'' and calls for a united effort to that end.
A private analyst who closely watches North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs says that if reports about the country's second intercontinental ballistic missile launch are accurate, the projectile would be powerful enough to reach a wide swath of the United States.
North Korea launched the missile at a steep trajectory late Friday night. Japanese officials said it flew about five minutes longer than the North's first ICBM, launched July 4.
David Wright, a physicist and co-director of the global security program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in Washington on Friday that if reports of the missile's maximum altitude and flight time are correct, it would have a theoretical range of at least 10,400 kilometres (about 6,500 miles). That means it could have reached Los Angeles, Denver and Chicago.
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