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North Korea Says It Might Fire Missiles Into Waters Near Guam

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North Korea’s Threat Against Guam

North Korea warned that it was considering a strike that would create “an enveloping fire” around the island of Guam.

Photo by Nancy Borowick for The New York Times. Watch in Times Video »

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea said Thursday that it was drawing up plans to launch four intermediate-range ballistic missiles into waters near Guam in the Western Pacific to teach President Trump a lesson, a day after the president warned of “fire and fury” against the North if it persisted in threatening the United States.

If the North were to follow through on its threat to launch an “enveloping strike” in the vicinity of Guam, it would be the first time that a North Korean missile landed so close to an American territory. The North’s official Korean Central News Agency reported that, according to the plan, four of the country’s Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missiles would fly over the three southern Japanese prefectures of Shimane, Hiroshima and Koichi before hitting the ocean about 19 to 25 miles from the coast of Guam.

In addition to serving as a warning to the United States, the proposed missile firings would also be a challenge to Japan. Some of the North Korean missiles launched in recent months have fallen in waters near Japan, but none of them have actually flown over the country. The North has said it launched its previous test missiles at highly lofted angles so that they would not fly over Japan.

North Korea will fine tune its launching plans by the middle of this month and wait for a final order from its leader, Kim Jong-un, the North’s official news agency said, citing Gen. Kim Rak-gyom, commander of the Strategic Force of the Korean People’s Army.

General Kim’s remarks came a day after Mr. Trump warned that North Korea would be met with “fire and fury, and frankly power the likes of which the world has never seen before” if it continued to expand its nuclear and missile programs. The North test fired two intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs, last month, demonstrating an ability to fire a missile that eventually could hit the continental United States with a nuclear payload.

Source: NYT > World

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