Tourists stroll along a road on the island of Guam, a U.S. Pacific Territory, August 10, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
Seoul, October 13 (IANS) North Korea on Friday once again threatened to attack the American island of Guam, where the US maintains a military base, following announcement of imminent joint naval drills between Washington and Seoul.
In a statement published by North Korean state news agency KCNA, Pyongyang said it warned several times that it will counteract any threat to its national security.
“We have already warned several times that we will take counter-actions for self-defence including firing a salvo of missiles into waters near the US territory of Guam,” the statement said, quoting Kim Kwang Hak, researcher at the North Korean Institute for American Studies, who added that the US has resorted to military actions in sensitive regions.
“The US military action hardens our determination that the US should be tamed with fire,” the statement added.
It also accused President Donald Trump’s administration of repeatedly trying to incite North Korea with provocations such as dispatching B-1B bombers, nuclear submarines and carriers in waters around the Korean peninsula.
The US-South Korea joint drills, set to begin on October 16, comes at a time of heightened tension on the Korean Peninsula, owing to heated exchanges between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Trump.
It is a “regular, joint and combined exercise to counter North Korea’s maritime threats and sharpen the interoperability of South Korea and the US”, said Vice Admiral Jung Jin-seop, commander of the South Korean Navy’s operation, Yonhap news agency reported.
Experts said Pyongyang might shortly launch a new intercontinental ballistic missile, either to coincide with the National Congress of the Communist Party of China which begins on October 18 or with Trump’s visit to the region between November 2 and 14.