S Korea Says Pyongyang Unlikely to Strike Guam, But It's Technically Possible
12:56 14.08.2017(updated 15:30 14.08.2017)
North Korea is extremely unlikely to implement its threats to fire four intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) into waters off of the island of Guam, even though Pyongyang is technically capable of conducting such an attack, South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo said Monday.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The minister explained that the basis of his judgment came from close consultations between top South Korean and US military officials.
"The possibility of implementation [of threats] is extremely low," Song said at the meeting of parliamentary defense committee, as quoted by the Yonhap news agency.
When asked whether Pyongyang could still carry out the attack, Song emphasized that it could happen only in the "extreme" case.
"I do not take [North Korea's threats] at its face value, but it is technically possible from the standpoint of distance," Song added.
Song also told the committee that the South Korean army doubts both Pyongyang's ICBM atmospheric re-entry capabilities and the claims that it has developed nuclear warhead miniaturization technology.
The tensions around North Korea have been high over the recent months and they have escalated further after the tightening of economic sanctions against North Korea by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) earlier this month in response to July's launches of ballistic missiles by Pyongyang.
The move prompted harsh criticism from Pyongyang which subsequently vowed to use any means possible to retaliate against the United States after the UNSC approved the new US-drafted sanctions. Trump in turn, warned, that North Korea's possible actions would be met with "fire and fury" from the United States. Following the statement, Pyongyang said it is considering an attack near the Pacific island of Guam where several US military bases were located.
On Friday, Trump said that US military solutions are "fully in place, locked and loaded" should North Korea "act unwisely."
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