August 10, 2017 09:26
A war of words between the U.S. and North Korea has escalated in the last couple of days, with both sides resorting to ever more florid bluster.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened "fire and fury" in language that held its own with the most colorful North Korean propaganda. "North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States," he told reporters. "They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen." Trump added that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "has been very threatening beyond a normal state."
The comments came after the Washington Post reported assessments that North Korea has succeeded in developing a nuclear warhead small enough to be mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile. The daily said the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency at the conclusion on July 28 after a secret assessment of the North's nuclear and missile programs.
On Wednesday, Trump tweeted that America's own nuclear arsenal is "now far stronger and more powerful than ever before," but added, "Hopefully we will never have to use this power."
North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency responded with two official statements that stinted nothing to their adversary's rhetoric. "The provocative war the U.S. has devised and plans to execute will be countered with a just all-out war of wiping out all the strongholds of the enemies, including the U.S. mainland," said one statement by the People's Armed Forces.
The other statement said the North is "now carefully examining the operational plan for making an enveloping fire at the areas around Guam with the medium-to-long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12."
Guam is home to the U.S. Pacific Command.
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis shot back Wednesday that North Korea risks the "end of its regime and the destruction of its people" if it attacks Washington or its allies.
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