Japanese fighters conducted air drills with US B-1B bombers on Tuesday

Japanese fighters conducted air drills with US B-1B bombers on Tuesday

The North Korean army said in a statement distributed on Aug 9 by the state-run news agency that it was studying a plan to create an "enveloping fire" in areas around Guam with medium- to long-range ballistic missiles. The most important US air base west of Hawaii, Andersen is the only one in the Western Pacific that can permanently base USA heavy strategic bombers, including B-1B, B-2, and B-52 bombers.

North Korea raised the stakes just hours later, saying it was considering missile strikes near US strategic military installations on the Pacific US territory of Guam.

The US Air Force commands both the ground-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, which are ready to go at any time, and nuclear-capable bombers.

Trump's response to that news was to further fan the flames of belligerence between the US and the DPRK.

The North Korean army announced it was examining plans for attacking the island, which serves as a launching pad for the USA military.

North Korea says it has mastered a crucial technology needed to strike the United States with a nuclear missile.

In the meantime, Trump's general attitude towards North Korea has grown increasingly severe: "The era of strategic patience with the North Korean regime has failed, many years it has failed".

"The DPRK must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons", Mattis said, using the acronym for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

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"Every time there is some saber rattling in the part of the world, Guam is always part of the occasion", said Robert F. Underwood, the president of the University of Guam and the island's former delegate to the House of Representatives.

With his "fire and fury" warning, Trump was "sending a strong message to North Korea in language that (North Korean leader) Kim Jong Un would understand, because he doesn't seem to understand diplomatic language", Tillerson said.

In response to the B-1B bomber deployment, North Korea's KCNA state news network stated, "The KPA (Korean People's Army) Strategic Force is now carefully examining the operational plan for making an enveloping fire at the areas around Guam ... in order to contain the USA major military bases on Guam, including the Anderson Air Force Base".

Ellsworth's 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron deployed to Guam late last month. "Beyond that, we also have a president who has got a more aggressive tenor than other presidents in the past". One third of the island is owned by the USA military.

"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States".

U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Daniel S. Willoughby.

"They have said that America will be defended".

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