North Korea Renews Guam Threat Ahead of Joint Naval Exercise

  • On Friday, a researcher at the Institute for American Studies at the North Korean Foreign Ministry warned that the joint exercise, as well as a flight by two American B-1B bombers over South Korea on Tuesday, compelled the North to “take military counteraction.”
  • The researcher, Kim Kwang-hak, did not elaborate but recalled North Korea’s August warning that it could launch missiles near Guam, home to the United States air base from which the B-1B long-range bombers took off on Tuesday.
  • “We have already warned several times that we will take counteractions for self-defense, including a salvo of missiles into waters near the U.S. territory of Guam,” Mr. Kim, the North Korean researcher, told the North’s official Korean Central News Agency on Friday.
  • Despite Mr. Trump’s tough talk, John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, said on Thursday that North Korea’s nuclear threat was “manageable” for now.
  • Also on Friday, South Korea’s meteorological authorities said that they detected a small quake near the North’s underground nuclear test site, but that it was not caused by a man-made explosion.

The North warned that a planned drill by the United States and South Korea would compel a “military counteraction.”

SEOUL, South Korea — As the United States and South Korea prepared for next week’s joint naval exercise, North Korean officials on Friday renewed their threat to launch ballistic missiles near Guam, an American territory in the western Pacific.

The drill, which involves the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, is scheduled to begin on Monday in waters east and west of South Korea. The 10-day exercise will check the allies’ “communications, interoperability and partnership,” the United States Navy’s 7th Fleet said in a statement.

The nuclear-powered submarine Michigan arrived at the South Korean port of Busan on Friday. American and South Korean warplanes will also join the exercise, which takes place amid heightened tensions over North Korea’s advancing nuclear missile program.

In recent months, President Trump and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, have amplified their countries’ military standoff by exchanging bellicose statements and personal insults.

Although both South Korea and the United States insist next week’s drill is defensive in nature, North Korea considers such war games rehearsals for invasion.

It remains unclear whether North Korea will lash out with a weapons test during the exercise, as it often has in the past.

On Friday, a researcher at the Institute for American Studies at the North Korean Foreign Ministry warned that the joint exercise, as well as a flight by two American B-1B bombers over South Korea on Tuesday, compelled the North to “take military counteraction.”

North Korea Renews Guam Threat Ahead of Joint Naval Exercise