Published: Wed, August 09, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

5 questions people are searching about North Korea and the answers

5 questions people are searching about North Korea and the answers

A potential conflict between North Korea and the United States isn't the only military threat hanging over China's head.

Despite regular North Korean threats against Guam, a USA territory in the Pacific about 2,100 miles (3,400 kilometers) from the Korean Peninsula, it is extremely unlikely that Pyongyang would risk the assured annihilation of its revered leadership with a pre-emptive attack on US citizens. Before taking office, he pledged to prevent North Korea from developing an ICBM: "It won't happen", he wrote on Twitter.

Guam's Homeland Security Adviser George Charfauros says officials there are confident "the U.S. Department of Defense is monitoring this situation very closely and is maintaining a condition of readiness".

Speaking from Guam, journalist Robert Santos said local reaction to the threats was mixed. He still needs a rocket that can survive reentry and a guidance-and-control system capable of directing it to the USA without breaking up.

"I want to reassure the people of Guam that now there is no threat to our island or the Marianas", he said. "My heart is pumping right now". The state-run KCNA news agency said a strike plan the Pacific island would be "put into practice in a multi-current and consecutive way any moment" pending Kim's decision.

U.S. President Donald Trump's threats of "fire and fury" against North Korea couldn't come at a worse time for China.

The U.S. now assesses the North Korean arsenal at up to 60 nuclear weapons, more than double most assessments by independent experts, according to the Post's reporting.

Trump's comments have led to fractions within his own party back home in the United States, with Republican Senator John McCain condemning the president for issuing threats he may not be prepared to act on.

Should US allies refuse to let the military to launch strikes from their territory, Guam would be the most likely place from which to launch airstrikes on North Korea, Schuster says, adding that this is how Kim will regard it.

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The North Korea comments were published after US President Donald Trump warned Pyongyang that if it continued to threaten the US, it would "face fire and fury like the world has never seen".

Trump issued the warning during a briefing on opioid addiction at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey.

North Korea claimed in September that it had successfully tested the kind of nuclear warhead described in the report.

The UN Security Council this weekend slapped its toughest sanctions yet on North Korea over its latest test of a ballistic missile that could be used to deliver a nuclear weapon.

Shortly before Trump's warning, the Washington Post cited USA intelligence officials as saying that the reclusive regime has succeeded in producing a nuclear warhead that can fit atop its missiles.

That would mean North Korea has passed a crucial threshold on the path to becoming a full-fledged nuclear power.

The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the Post said the assessment's broad conclusions were verified by two U.S. officials familiar with the analysis, and CNN said it had confirmed the report.

Officials at the agency would not comment Tuesday.

The former Los Alamos National Laboratory director said advanced re-entry vehicles and mechanisms to defeat missile defense systems may still be years away.

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