North Korea said on Wednesday it is considering plans for a missile strike on the US Pacific territory of Guam, just hours after President Donald Trump told the North that any threat to the United States would be met with “fire and fury”.
The sharp increase in tensions rattled financial markets and prompted warnings from US officials and analysts not to engage in rhetorical slanging matches with North Korea.
Pyongyang said it was “carefully examining” a plan to strike Guam, which is home to about 163,000 people and a US military base that includes a submarine squadron, an airbase and a Coast Guard group.
Guam, home to about 6,000 US troops, is strategically located midway between the Korean Peninsula and the South China Sea and houses two US military installations- the Andersen Air Force Base and the Naval Base Guam.
It was described by President Barack Obama’s defense secretary Ashton Carter as “an important strategic hub for the US military in the Western Pacific”.
Mr Calvo said there were “several levels of defense” strategically placed to protect Guam and he had been assured by the White House that a strike on the territory would be considered an attack on the United States.
“They have said that America will be defended. I also want to remind national media that Guam is American soil and we have 200,000 Americans in Guam and the Marianas. We are not just a military installation.