One of Kim Jong-un’s top generals has described Donald Trump as senile and insists North Korea will be ready to launch missile strikes at Guam in a matter of days.
The US President has warned North Korea it faces ‘fire and fury’ over its nuclear program sparking claims from Pyongyang that it will create an ‘enveloping fire’ around the American territory.
This morning, the secretive state dismissed Trump’s threat as a ‘load of nonsense’ and insisted ‘only absolute force’ can work on someone as ‘bereft of reason’.
The remarks come after tens of thousands of North Koreans gathered for a rally in a show of defiance in Pyongyang and as officials insisted the country will be ready to strike Guam with four missiles by mid-August.
One of Kim Jong-un‘s top officials this morning became the latest critic of Trump’s working vacation, accusing him of acting senile while ‘on the golf links’ and using rhetoroc that is ‘getting on the nerves’ of North Korean soldiers.
General Kim Rak Gyom, commander of the North’s strategic rocket forces, made the insults via state media after Trump issued his threat during a meeting at his New Jersey golf resort.
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Tens of thousands of North Koreans have come out in a show of defiance against the US on Wednesday. Pyongyang has since accused Donald Trump of being senile and warned it would be ready to carry out strikes on Guam in a matter of days
The secretive state dismissed Trump’s threat as a ‘load of nonsense’ and insisted ‘only absolute force’ can work on someone as ‘bereft of reason’. This was the scene yesterday as North Korea ordered a mass rally
Pyongyang’s volatile dictator (right) warned he was ‘carefully examining’ plans to make ‘an enveloping fire’ around the US island of Guam – hours after Donald Trump (left) had told the hermit state it faces ’fire and fury like the world has never seen’ over its nuclear programme
Two U.S. Air Force B-1B bombers from Guam’s military base participated in a strategic bilaterial mission with South Korea and Japan hours before North Korea threatened to strike Guam. Pictured top left and right are the two B-1B Lancer bombers and bottom left and center are Japan Self-Defense Forces F-2 fighter jets near Kyushu, Japan during the mission
An A-10 Thunderbolt attack aircraft readies for takeoff at a US air base in Osan, South Korea amid increased tension between the United States and North Korea
PAC-3 Patriot missile units are deployed in the compound of Defense Ministry in Tokyo. North Korea says it is preparing a plan to fire four of its Hwasong-12 missiles over Japan and into waters around Guam, which hosts 7,000 U.S. military personnel on two main bases and has a population of 160,000
Kim said Trump is ‘extremely getting on the nerves’ of his soldiers by making comments that showed his ‘senility’ again and that ’sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason who is going senile’.
He said North Korea will complete a plan by mid-August for the ‘historic enveloping fire at Guam,’ convey it to the commander in chief of its nuclear force and then ‘wait for his order.’ North Korea says it will ‘keep closely watching the speech and behaviour of the U.S.’
The statement also suggested the military action its army ‘is about to take’ will be effective for restraining America’s ‘frantic moves’ in and near the southern part of the Korean Peninsula.
Last night North Koreans gathered for a massive rally at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on Wednesday with photos showing citizens holding propaganda placards and waving their fists in the air.
Footage shows thousands of North Korean workers dressed in white shirts as they angrily marched through the square brandishing flags.
The elite class, who were dressed in black, applauded the workers as they rallied.
It came after a strict round of sanctions were passed by the United Nations security council over the weekend.
North Korea also officially dismissed Trump’s threats on Wednesday, declaring the American leader ‘bereft of reason’ and warning ominously that ‘only absolute force can work on him’.
The statement only served to escalate tensions further in a week that has seen a barrage of threats from both sides. While nuclear confrontation still seems incredibly remote, the comments have sparked deep unease in the United States, Asia and beyond.
Photos showed citizens holding propaganda placards and waving their fists angrily in the air
The rally came after a strict round of sanctions were passed by the United Nations security council over the weekend
The elite class, who were dressed in black, applauded the workers as they rallied
Footage shows thousands of North Korean workers dressed in white shirts as they angrily marched through the square brandishing flags
US crews practiced intercept and formation training, which gave them an opportunity to improve their combined capabilities and tactical skills. Above, a B-1B Lancer bomber is pictured during the mission
Guam, which is known as the ‘Tip of the Spear’, is home to thousands of American service members and their families at both Andersen Air Force Base and Naval Base Guam
South Korea’s military says North Korea will face a ‘stern and strong’ response from Washington and Seoul if it acts on threats to fire missiles near Guam.
Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman Roh Jae-cheon said today that the U.S. and South Korean militaries are prepared to ‘immediately and sternly punish’ any kind of provocation by North Korea, but didn’t elaborate on how the allies are preparing.
South Korea’s presidential office says top national security adviser Chung Eui-yong will chair a national security council meeting in the afternoon to discuss the North Korean threats.
Japan, meanwhile, has said it could shoot down missiles for its U.S. ally if North Korea fires them at Guam.
PYONGYANG: TRUMP THREAT ‘A LOAD OF NONSENSE’
Pyongyang has shown no signs of relenting in its war of words with Donald Trump, criticising him for ‘letting out a load of nonsense about “fire and fury”‘ from a gold course.
In another incendiary statement, General Kim Rak Gyom, commander of the Korean People’s Army, said last night:
As already clarified, the Strategic Force of the KPA is seriously examining the plan for an enveloping strike at Guam through simultaneous fire of four Hwasong-12 intermediate-range strategic ballistic rockets in order to interdict the enemy forces on the major military bases on Guam and to Signal a crucial warning to the US
On Tuesday, the KPA Strategic Force is a statement of its spokesman fully warned against the US on its all-round sanctions on the DPRK and moves to maximize military threats to it. But the US president at a gold [SIC] link again let out a load of nonsense about “fire and fury,” failing to grasp the on-going grave situation. This is extremely difficult to obtain.
It seems that he has not yet understood the statement.
Pyongyang, under Kim Jong-un (pictured) has shown no signs of relenting in its war of words with Donald Trump, criticising him for ‘letting out a load of nonsense about “fire and fury”‘ from a gold course
Sound dialogue is not possible with such a bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him. This is the judgment made by the KPA Strategic Force.
The military action of the KPA will take about an effective remedy for restraining the frantic moves of the US in the southern part of the peninsula and its vicinity.
The Hwasong artillerymen of the KPA Strategic Force are replete with a strong determination to fully demonstrate once again the invincible might of the force, which has been developed into a nuclear force of the Workers’ Party of Korea and the world’s strongest strike service, through the Planned enveloping strike targeting the US imperialist bases of aggression.
The Strategic Force is also considering considering the opening of the historic enveloping fire at Guam, a practical action targeting the US bases of aggression.
This unprecedented step is to give you a strong confidence in certain victory and courage to the Korean people and help them witness the wretched plight of the US imperialists.
The Hwasong-12 rockets to be launched by the KPA will cross the sky above Shimane, Hiroshima and Koichi Prefectures of Japan. They will fly 3 356.7 km for 1 065 seconds and hit the waters 30 to 40 km away from Guam.
The KPA Strategic Force will finally complete the plan until mid August and report it to the commander-in-chief of the DPRK nuclear force and wait for his order.
We keep closely watching the speech and behavior of the US.
Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told Thursday’s parliamentary session that a missile attack on the U.S. territory would breach the U.S. deterrence against an attack on Japan. He said that would be a Japanese national emergency because it would threaten Japan’s existence as a nation.
He said Japan in that case can exercise the right to ‘collective’ self-defense and activate the Aegis destroyer ship-to-air missile defense system.
Onodera’s comment underscores Japan’s growing military role and reverses its previous position that it can only shoot down missiles headed to Japan.
A defense law that took effect last year allows Japan’s military to defend U.S. and other allies when they come under enemy attack.
A day after evoking the use of overwhelming US military might, Trump touted America’s atomic supremacy. From the New Jersey golf resort where he’s vacationing, he tweeted that his first order as president was to ‘renovate and modernize’ an arsenal that is ‘now far stronger and more powerful than ever before.’
It was a rare public flexing of America’s nuclear might. Trump’s boasting only added to the confusion over his administration’s approach to dealing with North Korea’s expanding nuclear capabilities on a day when his top national security aides wavered between messages of alarm and reassurance.
If Trump’s goal with two days of tough talk was to scare North Korea, Kim, the commander, put that idea quickly to rest. He called Trump’s rhetoric a ‘load of nonsense’ that was aggravating a grave situation.
A view shows a Pyongyang city mass rally held at Kim Il Sung Square on Wednesday
Tens of thousands of North Koreans packed the square in a show of support for their country
North Korea also officially dismissed Trump’s threats on Wednesday, declaring the American leader ‘bereft of reason’ and warning ominously that ‘only absolute force can work on him’
Kim said the Guam action would be ‘an effective remedy for restraining the frantic moves of the U.S. in the southern part of the Korean peninsula and its vicinity.’
HOW TENSIONS HAVE GROWN IN 12 MONTHS
July 8, 2016: US and South Korea announce plans to deploy an advanced missile defence system — THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense)
August 3, 2016: North Korea fires a ballistic missile directly into Japan’s maritime economic zone for the first time
September 9, 2016: North Korea carries out its fifth nuclear test
March 6, 2017: North fires four ballistic missiles in what it says is an exercise to hit US bases in Japan
March 7, 2017: US begins deploying THAAD missile defence system in South Korea
May 14, 2017: North fires a ballistic missile which flies 700 kilometres before landing in the Sea of Japan. Analysts say it has an imputed range of 4,500 kilometres and brings Guam within reach
June 1, 2017: US aircraft carriers USS Carl Vinson and the USS Ronald Reagan carry out drills in the Sea of Japan
July 4, 2017: North Korea test-fires a ballistic missile which flies 930 kilometres before landing in the Sea of Japan. Analysts say it has an imputed range of 6,700 km and brings Alaska within reach. Pyongyang later says it was a ‘landmark’ test of a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
July 28, 2017: Kim Jong-un carries out a second intercontinental rocket launch test in under a month, sending a missile 1,000km before it splashes down in the waters off the Japanese coast.
August 5, 2017: The U.N. Security Council unanimously imposes tough new sanctions on Pyongyang. North Korea responded, saying: ‘The day the US dares tease our nation with a nuclear rod and sanctions, the mainland US will be catapulted into an unimaginable sea of fire.’
Guam lies about 2,100 miles from the Korean Peninsula and it’s extremely unlikely Kim’s government would risk annihilation with a pre-emptive attack on US citizens. It’s also unclear how reliable North Korea’s missiles would be against such a distant target, but no one was writing off the danger completely.
The new specificity from Pyongyang about its plans for a potential attack came as Trump and his top national security aides delivered contrasting messages over North Korea’s expanding nuclear capabilities.
As international alarm escalated, Trump dug in on his threats of military action and posted video of his ultimatum to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The suggestion that Trump has enhanced U.S. nuclear firepower was immediately disputed by experts, who noted no progress under Trump’s presidency. Still, Trump tweeted, ‘Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!’
The tweets did little to soothe concerns that Trump was helping push the standoff with North Korea into uncharted and even more dangerous territory. While the prospect of military action by either side appears slim, given the level of devastation that would ensue, Trump’s talk Tuesday of ‘fire and fury like the world has never seen’ compounded fears of an accident or misunderstanding leading the nuclear-armed nations into conflict.
This week, an official Japanese report and a classified U.S. intelligence document, the latter reported by The Washington Post, combined to suggest the North was closer to being able to strike the United States with a nuclear missile than previously believed. The U.S. document reportedly assessed that the North had mastered the ability to fit a nuclear warhead on its long-range missiles.
After North Korea issued its own warning that suggested it could attack Guam, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sought to calm the sense of crisis.
Speaking earlier Wednesday on his way home from Asia, he credited Trump with sending a strong message to the North Korean leader on the ‘unquestionable’ U.S. ability to defend itself, so as to prevent ‘any miscalculation.’ Tillerson insisted the U.S. isn’t signaling a move toward military action, while it pursues a policy of sanctions and isolation of North Korea.
‘Americans should sleep well at night,’ Tillerson told reporters. He added, ‘Nothing that I have seen and nothing that I know of would indicate that the situation has dramatically changed in the last 24 hours.’
No sooner had Tillerson ratcheted down the rhetoric than Defense Secretary Jim Mattis ratcheted it back up.
Echoing Trump’s martial tone, Mattis said North Korea should stand down its nuclear weapons program and ‘cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.’ As seldom as it is for a president to speak of using nuclear missiles, the reference to the ‘destruction’ of a foreign people is equally rare.
North Korea said it is ‘carefully examining’ a plan to strike the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam with missiles. The strike plan will be ‘put into practice in a multi-current and consecutive way any moment’ once leader Kim Jong Un (file above) makes a decision
President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey on Wednesday. Trump had threated to unleash ‘fire and fury’ on North Korea
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says that President Donald Trump’s ‘fire and fury’ charge to Kim Jong-Un shouldn’t have Americans panicking. Tillerson is on his way back to Washington from Asia. He made a pit stop in Guam
It was unclear, however, how serious to take all the war talk. Markets weren’t rattled by the back-and-forth threats. Trump had no meetings on his schedule Wednesday. There were no indications from the Pentagon of urgent planning or new assets being hastily deployed to the Pacific region. And Tillerson even made a pre-scheduled refueling stop in Guam, the target of the North’s purported military designs.
Trump’s alarmist tone sparked criticism among his political opponents in the United States and concern among allies and partners in Asia – the very nations the United States would need to work with to avert a military showdown with North Korea.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said ‘reckless rhetoric is not a strategy to keep America safe.’ Fellow Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said the situation needs diplomacy, ‘not saber rattling.’
China, North Korea’s increasingly alienated ally, cautioned all sides against ’employing words or actions that could sharpen differences and escalate the situation.’
One regular critic of Trump’s foreign policy stood up for the president. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican hawk, said he felt Trump wasn’t bluffing with his threat of ‘fire and fury.’ Trump has ‘basically drawn a red line’ by saying Pyongyang can’t ever have a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the U.S., Graham said.
Defense Secretary James Mattis referenced the ‘end’ of the North Korean regime in a new Pentagon statement
Say Kim Jong-un does risk all out war by attacking Guam, in what some experts have branded a ‘suicide’ move, what force does the US have to beckon from its bases in the region?
President Donald Trump dashed claims that he is not on vacation but actually ‘working hard’ at his New Jersey property when he was seen today on the golf course today while the conflict with North Korea raged
DON’T COMMIT SUICIDE KIM: MATTIS LAYS DOWN THE LAW TO NORTH KOREA’S NUCLEAR-RACE DICTATOR
‘The United States and our allies have the demonstrated capabilities and unquestionable commitment to defend ourselves from an attack.
‘Kim Jong Un should take heed of the United Nations Security Council’s unified voice, and statements from governments the world over, who agree the DPRK poses a threat to global security and stability.
‘The DPRK must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons. The DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.
‘President Trump was informed of the growing threat last December and on taking office his first orders to me emphasized the readiness of our ballistic missile defense and nuclear deterrent forces.
‘While our State Department is making every effort to resolve this global threat through diplomatic means, it must be noted that the combined allied militaries now possess the most precise, rehearsed and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth.
‘The DPRK regime’s actions will continue to be grossly overmatched by ours and would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates.’
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