It feels like World War III is coming, doesn’t it?
The rising tensions between the US and North Korea have got to boiling point now, with North Korea saying that they could be ready to strike the US territory of Guam within a matter of days.
Yes, you heard me, a matter of days. Suddenly this all feel very real. State media in North Korea reported that Hwason-12 rockets would pass over Japan and land in the sea, 30km from Guam. The plan is yet to be approved by Kim Jong-un, but is no doubt set to raise eyebrows in the White House.
Not done there though, state media also denounced Donald Trump’s warning of “fire and fury” and claimed that the President was “bereft of reason”. However, the US has warned the North that its actions could lead to the “end of its regime”. US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has also issued a warning to Pyongyang, saying that it would “grossly overmatched” if it went to war with the US and its allies.
North Korea announced on Wednesday that it had been drawing up plans for a missile strike on Guam, an island in the Pacific which is home to US military bases, and around 163,000 people. A statement that was carried by state media said that the military would “complete the plan” by mid-August, and would then send a letter to Kim Jong-un hoping for his approval to go ahead.
“The Hwasong-12 rockets to be launched by the KPA [Korean People’s Army] will cross the sky above Shimane, Hiroshima and Koichi [Kochi] Prefectures of Japan,” state news agency KCNA said, quoting army chief General Kim Rak Gyom.
“They will fly 3,356.7km for 1,065 seconds and hit the waters 30-40km away from Guam.”
Eddie Calvo, the governor of Guam, has addressed the threat from North Korea, saying it likes to be unpredictable and has previously fired surprise missiles: “They’re now telegraphing their punch, which means they don’t want to have any misunderstandings. I think that’s a position of fear,” said Calvo.
Unsurprisingly, the US haven’t been the only country to respond, with Japan also condemning the actions of North Korea and labelling their actions as “provocative to the region including Japan as well as to the security of the international community”.
“We can never tolerate this,” said Japanese spokesman Yoshihide Suga.
Due to recent legislation, Japan are now able to defend the US and other allies from attack. Previously Japan was only to shoot down missiles if they were heading into their own country.
South Korea has also responded, saying: “If North Korea conducts provocation in defiance of our military’s grave warning, it will confront the strong and firm response of our military and the US-South Korea alliance,” Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman Roh Jae-cheon said.
Now, I don’t know what you think, but this all sounds very scary and it might be time to run and hide to be honest. Trump has tweeted saying that America’s nuclear arsenal is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before, but hopefully no one will have to use these weapons… fingers crossed!