North Korean media has announced that the leadership is finalising plans for hitting Guam with intermediate range missiles which are apparently to be launched in mid-August.
Sputnik quotes General Kim Rak Gyom who said the following to North Korean media,
“The Hwasong-12 rockets to be launched by the KPA (Korean People’s Army) will cross the sky above Shimane, Hiroshima and Koichi Prefectures of Japan.
They will fly 3,356.7 km (2,085.8 miles) for 1,065 seconds and hit the waters 30 to 40 km away from Guam”.
Several things are curious about this statement.
First of all, by stating that the preparations for the attack to apparently take place in mid-August are being made now, North Korea seems to be validating the Russian statement that it takes a significant amount of time for North Korea to launch missiles that countries like Russia, China and the US can generally launch in a matter of seconds or at the very most, a matter of hours, depending on the kind of warhead payload attacked to the missile in question.
Secondly, by telling the United States that it plans to launch an attack in the direction of Guam, the crucial element of surprise is totally lost.
North Korea further stated that Trump’s remarks threatening to hit north Korea with “fire and fury” the likes the world “has never seen before”, amount to “A load of nonsense”.
North Korea further stated that Donald Trump is only capable of understanding force, because he is “bereft of reason”. Such statements far from being classic North Korean rhetoric soudn a great deal like commentators on CNN and op-ed pieces in the Washington Post, New York Times and Guardian.
“Pyongyang also said that America’s “frantic moves” on the Korean Peninsula will be reined by the action the North’s military “is about to take.”
First the communist nation will develop a plan for the historic “enveloping fire at Guam,” communicate the nuclear force of the attack to Kim, then, “wait for is order.”
The DPRK has said it will “keep closely watching the speech and behavior of the US.”
Earlier today, US Secretary of State James Mattis warned the North in a statement that they should “cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.”
He added, “While our State Department is making every effort to resolve this global threat through diplomatic means, it must be noted that the combined allied militaries now possess the most precise, rehearsed and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth. The DPRK regime’s actions will continue to be grossly overmatched by ours and would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates.”
Either this is the ultimate test of brinkmanship on both sides, or the world’s most dangerous game of chicken. This comes as Russia, China and Philippines repeat calls for dialogue as the only safe and sensible way forward.