The military option with North Korea is 'locked and loaded,' Trump says

Elias Hubbard
August 13, 2017

President Trump tweeted Friday that the US military is "locked and loaded" if North Korea acts "unwisely", escalating an exchange of threats between the nuclear-armed nations. President Donald Trump is doubling down on his threats to wage "fire and fury" on North Korea after receiving criticism that his aggressive rhetoric might fuel tensions. Is Kim's threat genuine, or is he blowing smoke? In reality, we are not at that point, but the clock is ticking. "Let's see what he does with Guam", he said referring to Kim.

The tiny USA territory of Guam came under the global spotlight after North Korea on Wednesday said it's studying whether to launch a missile test toward the island. Those missiles, the Hwasong-12 and the larger, longer range Hwasong-14, were created to carry nuclear payloads.

224316224313224313How likely is a military conflict with North Korea?President Trump said the USA and its military is ready to deal with any provocation by the Pyongyang regime.

The Defense Intelligence Agency concluded in a recent report that Pyongyang has succeeded at producing a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles, so Kim's threat to menace us territory with nuclear-capable missiles is now considerably more credible than it was even six months ago.

"Trump looks forward to seeing President Xi in China later this year, a meeting that will be a very historic event", the White House said.

It also emerged today that officials from both countries had been quietly holding talks through diplomatic back-channels for several months.

Guam has about 7,000 U.S. troops with nearly a third of the land controlled by the USA military.

NORTHKOREA-MISSILES
Mapped: US and Allied Missile Defenses Against North Korea

The PAC-3, with a range of 20 kilometers, will not be launched if the North Korean missiles fly normally. For any country that wanted to cripple American conventional and nuclear power in the Pacific theater, Guam would be a prime target.

Officials have not raised the U.S. territory's threat level after Pyongyang said it had laid out plans to strike near the island in the coming weeks.

During that war, Japan occupied Guam until US forces helped liberate it. Guam's called the tip of the spear for that reason.

In fact, there are reasons to believe this whole "enveloping fire" plan is a bluff by Pyongyang. He also said he would prefer no nuclear weapons and the complications they or their pursuit present in North Korea, Pakistan and Iran.

But restraint was not the word of the day on Friday as Trump sent out a cascade of unscripted statements, including what appeared to be another red line - the mere utterance of threats - that would trigger a US attack against North Korea and "big, big trouble" for Kim. "They're leaders discussing a rise in fame and tourism, while the world is watching our island carefully to see if we'll still be here tomorrow".

Can the Trump administration impose secondary sanctions in time to stop what appears to be a fast progress in the North Korean nuclear weapons program?

The March missile launch was not as bold as the plan for Guam - the North didn't tell the world beforehand and deliberately sent the missiles much farther north than the base itself, an easy tweak. "We think that lots of good things could happen, and we could also have a bad solution".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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