The comments by the Global Times came after President Donald Trump raised the level of his rhetoric against North Korea on Thursday, saying his earlier threat to unleash “fire and fury” on Pyongyang if it launched an attack may not have been tough enough.
Most Asian currencies stumbled, with the Korean won on pace for its biggest fall in almost eight weeks as North Korea warned it is “carefully examining” plans for a missile strike on the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.
Analysts say they have seen no evidence of any increased alert in North Korea.
South Korea and the North technically remain at war as the Korean War ended only with an armistice, not a peace treaty.
The statement followed a tweet by President Trump praising what he described as the growing USA nuclear arsenal, adding, “Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!“. It’s located 2,100 miles south of North Korea and 4,000 miles west of Hawaii. Two years after, they fought a bloody, three-year war.
But let’s take a step back for a moment: Where is Guam, and why is it in North Korea’s crosshairs?
Its proximity to China, Japan, the Philippines and the Korean Peninsula has long made the island an essential possession of the USA military. Protecting the island is the U.S. Army’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, which is used to shoot down ballistic missiles.
Friday morning, Trump tweeted that USA military solutions were “locked and loaded” in case North Korea followed through on its threat.
The possibility of a nuclear confrontation is considered remote.
“If they did launch they could potentially wipe out cities in South Korea and Japan, and in the longer term maybe reach the U.S. West Coast and even further inland”, said Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Program at the Federation of American Scientists.
That is Jessica Pettigrew’s reaction when the topic of North Korea comes up.
“The standing committee of the NSC noted the security condition surrounding the Korean Peninsula was becoming serious due to North Korea’s repeated provocations and threats”, Park Soo-hyun, a spokesman for the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, told reporters.