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People's Daily Online

N.Korea "seriously examining" Guam missile strike plan amid Pyongyang-Washington row

People's Daily Online

(People's Daily Online) 14:07, August 10, 2017

North Korea on Thursday renewed its hard-bitten rhetoric amid the Pyongyang-Washington wrangle, as it announced that it is "seriously" examining a plan for an enveloping strike on Guam to signal a "crucial warning" to the United States.

The military plan calls for the simultaneous launching of four Hwasong-12 intermediate-range strategic ballistic rockets, which would fly for 3,356.7 km at 1.065 seconds, crossing the sky above the Japanese prefectures of Shimane, Hiroshima, and Kochi, before hitting the waters 30 to 40 km from Guam, said a statement by General Kim Rak Gyom, commander of the Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army (KPA), published by Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The plan will be complete by mid-August, it added.

The statement marked the latest round of back-and-forth blustering reportedly triggered by Pyongyang's missile tests starting earlier this year.

On Monday, Aug. 7, Pyongyang vowed to exact "thousands-fold" revenge against the U.S. after the latest round of UN sanctions. The next day, U.S. President Donald Trump slammed North Korea with a sharp rebuke, warning that it would be "met with fire and fury like the world has never seen."

Pyongyang threatened the tiny U.S. territory of Guam on Wednesday, Aug. 9, but it was quickly dismissed by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who stressed that there is no imminent threat to the people there and that "Americans should sleep well at night."

"The U.S. president at a golf links again let out a load of nonsense about 'fire and fury,' failing to grasp the on-going grave situation," read the KPA statement. "Sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him."

Hwasong artillery units of the KPA Strategic Force are strongly determined to demonstrate once again their might, which has developed into a reliable nuclear force and the world's strongest strike service, it noted.

In response, South Korea's military on Thursday issued a strongly worded message, warning that Pyongyang would face "the allies' strong and resolute retaliation" should it ignore the warning and provoke, Yonhap News Agency reported.

"Unless there's a return to reason and a full commitment to a practical and peaceful solution, such a hostile approach will do little but make things worse," a commentary from the Xinhua News Agency said. "Exercising restraint is needed for making responsible choices to ensure peace, particularly at a moment approaching crisis, which can however also serve as a turning point for coming back to the negotiation table," it added. "It is advised that Washington, Seoul and Pyongyang take into serious consideration China's proposal that they start from addressing their pressing security concerns to build up mutual trust, effectively paving the way for restoring talks."

China has long called for a return to six-party talks with the goal of finding a peaceful solution. In China's latest mediation efforts, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with his DPRK counterpart and his South Korean and American counterparts to urge understanding and dialogue, while at the recently concluded Foreign Ministers' meetings on East Asian Cooperation in Manila, Philippines.

The latest Security Council resolution, which passed on Saturday, Aug. 5, is a necessary response to the ballistic missile tests made by Pyongyang, Xinhua noted.

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