Pyongyang outlines plan of attack on Guam and mocks Trump
Mass protest in Pyongyang in support of North Korean policy against the United States, August 9, 2017
Pyongyang on Thursday presented his detailed plan to fire a four-missile salvo over Japan to Guam’s Pacific territory in the Pacific, bumping into his confrontation with Donald Trump accused of “losing his mind.”
This plan, aimed at a strategic outpost of US forces on the road to Asia, will constitute “a crucial warning to the United States,” North Korea warned. For according to her “only the absolute force” will have an effect on the American president.
This warning follows a threatening tweet from the White House leader claiming that the US nuclear arsenal is “stronger and stronger than ever.”
A few hours before, Donald Trump had stunned the international community by promising North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un “fire and anger”, a warning that seemed straight out of the oratorical repertory of Pyongyang.
This rhetorical war around Pyongyang’s ballistic and nuclear programs fuels fears of a miscalculation that would have catastrophic consequences on the Korean peninsula and beyond.
In July, the North conducted two successful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) shots, putting much of the American continent within reach.
Anti-ballistic missile defense system
The region is in danger of “a mini-crisis of Cuban missiles,” judge John Delury, a professor at Yonsei University in Seoul.
In 1962, the installation of Soviet nuclear rockets in Cuba had provoked an outrage and made the planet fear an atomic war.
Mr. Trump’s inflammatory remarks are “absurd”, said General Rak-Gyom, commander of North Korean ballistic forces, quoted by the official KCNA news agency.
– rare precision –
“A sensible dialogue is not possible with a guy like that who has lost the reason”.
The North Korean army will bring the final touches to its project against Guam by mid-August and will submit it for evaluation to the young North Korean leader, he added.
Four missiles will be fired simultaneously and will overfly the Japanese prefectures of Shimane, Hiroshima and Koichi, said the army.
A US-based bomber B-1B based in Guam participates in an exercise near the Japanese island of Kyushu, August 7, 2017
The machines “will fly 17 minutes and 45 seconds over a distance of 3,356.7 km, and will crash at sea 30 or 40 km from Guam.” They would thus be damaged outside the territorial waters of the United States.
Japan, which has warned in the past that it will shoot down any missile threatening its territory, has reaffirmed that it will never “tolerate the provocations” of the reclusive country.
Located in the Western Pacific, some 3,500 km from North Korea, Guam has strategic US facilities – heavy long-range bombers, hunters and submarines – that regularly participate in force demonstrations on and near The Korean peninsula, to the great fury of Pyongyang.
Guam, home to 162,000 inhabitants, is also equipped with a THAAD anti-missile shield.
Professor Yang Moo-Jin of the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul emphasized the unusual nature of the clarifications provided by Pyongyang.
“The North seems to be saying that what it is going to do will be in accordance with international law,” he told AFP. “Therefore, it can not be ruled out that he will implement this project.”
– Difficult answer –
And Mr. Delury added: “They are trying to ensure that the United States, South Korea and even Japan do not take it for a real attack.”
During the Cold War, in the 1980s, the USSR had fired unarmed missiles that had crashed in the Pacific a thousand miles from Hawaii.
According to the analysts, shooting at Guam would place Washington in a delicate position: if it does not attempt to intercept them, its credibility would take a hit and Pyongyang would feel wings to conduct a life-size ICBM test.
But if an intercept was attempted and a missile survived, the effectiveness of US ballistic missile defense systems would be undermined.
Mass protest in Pyongyang in support of North Korean policy against the United States, 7 August 2017
“This is a coercive threat to end the B-1 flights,” said Twitter Adam Mount of the Center for American Progress. “Unlike Trump’s blurred and incendiary threats, those of North Korea are coercive, clear, precise and credible escalation.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula are worsening at the time of the joint military exercises between Seoul and Washington and the next ones begin around August 21st.
“The North Korean interpretation of Washington’s rhetoric differs from the Western interpretation of the usual threats from Pyongyang, and for the North Trump’s inflammatory remarks are a matter of life and death,” said Hong Hyun-Ik, At the Sejong Institute.
Thousands of North Koreans marched on Wednesday, with their fists raised, in the streets of Pyongyang, where authorities organized demonstrations of support.
“Ten million hearts are inflamed with the promise to defend the motherland until death,” a banner proclaimed.
Heather Nauert, spokesman for the State Department, said the United States spoke “with one voice” in response to speculation that Mr. Trump would have taken his entourage by surprise.
But Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he did not believe an impending attack on Guam and expressed the hope that diplomacy would take over in the crisis.