Guam strike plan ready within days: North Korea

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Guam strike plan ready within days: North Korea

Seoul - Would the North be able to carry out such an exercise? And could the US stop it?

By AFP

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Published: Thu 10 Aug 2017, 11:19 PM

Last updated: Fri 11 Aug 2017, 1:23 AM

North Korea said on Thursday it would complete a plan within days to launch a salvo of four intermediate-range missiles towards Guam, the US island territory in the western Pacific.

It followed US President Donald Trump's warning of "fire and fury like the world has never seen" as a war of words with the US escalates tension on the peninsula.

Would the North be able to carry out such an exercise? And could the US stop it?

The North's military said the plan involved four Hwasong-12 missiles, which would be aimed to come down "30 to 40 kilometres away from Guam".

The intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) flew about 787 kilometres in its latest test in May, when it was fired at a steep angle, and is believed to have a maximum range of about 5,000 kilometres.

That puts Guam - around 3,300 kilometres from North Korea's missile bases - well within range.

Analysts ruled out the possibility of them missing their targets to such an extent they hit the island instead.

The Hwasong-12 did not have "razor-sharp precision", said Yang Uk, senior researcher at the Korea Defense and Security Forum (KODEF), describing its technology as similar to that of the Soviet Union in the 1970s.

But he added: "The missiles could miss the target area by up to five kilometres but not more than that."

Given the intended distances declared by Pyongyang, "the chances of hitting the island by accident seem pretty low for now", he said.


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