North Korea was reportedly considering striking Guam after President Donald Trump said further threats would “be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen” on Tuesday.
Reuters, citing North Korean state media, said the possible strike was awaiting approval from leader Kim Jong Un.
Guam may not be the only target being eyed by North Korea.
In another statement citing a different military spokesman, North Korea also said it could carry out a pre-emptive operation if the United States showed signs of provocation.
Trump’s warning came hours after Japan’s Defense Ministry concluded in an annual white paper released Tuesday that “it is possible that North Korea has achieved the miniaturization of nuclear weapons and has developed nuclear warheads.” Japan, a key U.S. ally, is also a potential target of North Korean aggression.
And the Washington Post reported Tuesday that U.S. intelligence officials assess that a decade after North Korea’s first nuclear test explosion, Pyongyang has produced nuclear weapons for ballistic missile delivery, including by intercontinental missiles — the type capable of reaching the continental U.S.
The Post story, citing unnamed U.S. intelligence officials, said the confidential analysis was completed last month by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency. The U.S. also calculated last month that North Korea has up to 60 nuclear weapons, the Post said, more than double most assessments by independent experts.
U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) warned Trump against using such language, saying he should not make threats unless he was prepared to act.
“I take exception to the president’s comments because you got to be sure you can do what you say you’re going to do,” he told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos.
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