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North Korea details plan to strike near Guam by mid-August

A man walks past the Seoul office of the Guam Visitors Bureau in Seoul. (Jung Yeon-je / AFP/Getty Images)
A man walks past the Seoul office of the Guam Visitors Bureau in Seoul. (Jung Yeon-je / AFP/Getty Images)

North Korea on Thursday laid out a detailed plan to launch a barrage of missiles toward Guam, further escalating its threat against the tiny U.S. territory.
 
The warning, issued by a high-level general through North Korea’s state media, suggested the isolated nation was crafting a proposal to launch four intermediate-range ballistic missiles into waters around the island by mid-month. Once finalized, he said, officials would wait for the command of leader Kim Jong Un.
 
The announcement marked the latest in the increasingly muscled rhetoric between Pyongyang and Washington, after the United Nations approved sanctions last week intended to restrain North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. U.S. President Trump earlier this week warned that the hermit kingdom would face “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if it endangered the U.S.  
 
The report from North Korea’s state-run news agency, KCNA, called Trump’s comments a “load of nonsense.”
 
Even if merely bluster, the latest threat draws global attention to the safety of residents and U.S. military stationed on a small tropical island in the western Pacific many don’t know exists. Should North Korea follow through on its threat to strike, this would become the closest a North Korean missile has landed to American territory.
 
Officials are drawing up a plan to “interdict the enemy forces on major military bases on Guam and to signal a crucial warning to the United States,” the report from Pyongyang said, citing General Kim Rak Gyom, who leads the Strategic Force of the Korean People’s Army.
 
The general, in an unusually detailed description, said four Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missiles would cross the sky over southern Japan before hitting waters 19 to 25 miles from Guam’s coast. The island could serve as an air base for U.S. stealth bombers if war broke out between the two nations.
 
“We keep closely watching the speech and behavior of the U.S.,” the general said.
 

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