North Korea steps up threats after Trump vows "fire and fury"

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World Data Locator Map of Guam. Encyclopaedia Britannica UIG via Getty Images

North Korea's military has said it plans to fire four medium- to long-range missiles at the US Pacific territory and is waiting for approval from the nation's leader Kim Jong Un. I'm referring to the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), an American anti-missile defense system which the US positioned this year in South Korea. Tests of North Korea's own missile suggest that now, the island is within the range of Pyongyang.

The army said in a statement distributed Wednesday by the state-run news agency that it is studying a plan to create an "enveloping fire" in areas around Guam with medium- to long-range ballistic missiles. That is close to half the distance between Guam and Hawaii, which sits about 3,960 miles away. It follows two successful tests of an intercontinental missile by the isolated state in July and a series of other missile tests.

"The Air Self-Defense Force was likely to deploy the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 system in Shimane, Hiroshima and Kochi prefectures, which North Korea said the missiles might cross over, as well as Ehime", the officials reportedly said, according to the Japan Times. Warnings are being issued to people if an attack happens to expect to stay inside for at least 24 hours unless told otherwise by authorities.

"I'm glad you're holding the helm, Sir", he said. "By making this advance notice, they are also sending a tacit message that what they are going to do is not an actual attack".

The only thing they could say was that they are always in a constant state of readiness.

North Korea says it is examining its operational plans for attacking Guam to contain US bases there. "We have to view this statement (about Guam) in the context of the political situation". Almost everyone on the island has at least one relative serving in the military.

"If our past generations dealt with it, so can we", said Santos, the Guam Museum employee, who was born and raised on the island. "The big countries should not attack each other, but unite to better cooperate on maintaining the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula". "Enjoy the beaches", he said.

Each missile North Korea launches brings it closer to having a reliable nuclear force capable of striking the United States mainland, or its allies and military facilities in Asia.

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"At this point, based on what facts are known, there is no need to have any concern regards heightening the threat level", Calvo said.

Guam is also armed with a sophisticated USA weapons system known as THAAD, which is a ground-based missile system created to shoot down short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles.

The island's Governor, Eddie Calvo, has offered assurances, saying the island is well-protected, including with the THAAD missile defense system, which is specifically created to shoot down ballistic missiles.

"Don't worry about missiles", said Tommy Cho, president of the Korean Association of Guam.

Guam has been a US territory since 1898, except when it was held by Japan for about two years during World War II.

Washington has previously said it will consider talks with Pyongyang if it agrees to give up its nuclear weapons program, a precondition North Korean officials have described as a non-starter.

The governor of Guam told Reuters news that North Korea has in the past always been unpredictable. The U.N. Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Saturday.

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