WASHINGTON (CN) — In an escalating series of nuclear threats, a spokesman said the North Korean People’s Army is reviewing “operational plans” to strike the U.S. territory of Guam with missiles, hours after President Donald Trump warned that such threats “will be met with fire, fury and, frankly, power the likes of which this world has never seen before.”
The North Korean Army statement was issued Wednesday through the state-run news agency KCNA. In it, the Strategic Force of the Korean People’s Army said the regime is reviewing its “military options to form attack positions” around U.S. territory, including Guam, to “send a stern warning to the United States.”
The spokesman accused the U.S. of threatening to start a “preventative war” with North Korea, and that any more U.S. threats would be met with an “all-out war wiping out all the strongholds of enemies, including the U.S. mainland.”
A strike plan could be put into place at any moment once leader Kim Jong Un makes a decision, Reuters reported Tuesday night. No date or deadline was cited, but the statement specifically targeted Anderson Air Force Base in Guam.
President Trump on Tuesday showed no inclination to ratchet down the increasingly aggressive rhetoric.
“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” he said at a news conference at his Bedminster Golf Club in New Jersey. “They will be met with fire, fury and, frankly, power the likes of which this world has never seen before.”
On Monday, two Guam-based B-1 bombers departed from the Pacific island, flying over the Korean peninsula on what military officials called a “continuous bomber mission.”
According to a confidential national security assessment completed in July, North Korea has the ability to produce a nuclear warhead small enough to fit inside its long-range missiles. The same assessment, originally reported by The Washington Post, found that North Korea is increasing its stockpile of nuclear weapons.
North Korea has made similar claims.
U.S. officials briefed on the assessment said there is still a question whether North Korean technology has advanced to the degree that a nuclear-tipped missile, once delivered, could survive reentry into the atmosphere.
On July 28 North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan. It flew 600 miles before falling into Japanese waters.
On Aug. 6, the 72nd anniversary of the U.S. atomic attack upon Hiroshima, the United Nations Security Council unanimously agreed to impose new sanctions on North Korea that could slash the nation’s export revenues by more than half.