US President Donald Trump has issued another strong warning to North Korea, declaring America’s weapons are “locked and loaded” to retaliate to a strike from Kim Jong-un.
“Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong-un will find another path!” Mr Trump said on Twitter.
North Korea has announced a detailed plan to launch a salvo of ballistic missiles into the seas around the US Pacific territory of Guam, a major military hub and home to US bombers.
If carried out, it would be its most provocative missile launch to date.
Mr Trump previously said the US would unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea if it continued to threaten the US, and has shown no signs of softening his rhetoric in the days since then.
Speaking in New Jersey on Friday, he said he believed Guam would be “very safe” and threatened North Korea with “big, big trouble” if it launched an attack.
Military solutions are now fully in place,locked and loaded,should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 11, 2017
Last week, North Korean state-run news reported the country’s army would be ready within days to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan to land near Guam.
The plans called for the missiles to land in the sea 30-40 kilometres from Guam.
Guam hands out advice on fallout, nuclear fireballs
“Do not look at the flash or fireball — it can blind you,” the sheet instructs people who might be outside if the missiles arrive.
“If an attack warning is issued, take cover as quickly as you can, under concrete structure or below ground if possible,” the sheet adds.
“Fallout radiation loses its intensity fairly rapidly. In time you will be able to leave a fallout shelter.”
The Government has instructed residents to be proactive and create emergency supply kits, a family emergency plan and a list of concrete shelters in their vicinity.
Visitors to the Homeland Security website are also directed to an American Red Cross guide on how to “shelter-in-place” during a chemical or radiation emergency.
Despite the Government’s warnings the people of Guam still appear to be undeterred by the ongoing war of words as people continued to flock to the beaches.
“It’s the weekend, go out and have a good time, enjoy the beaches tomorrow and live your lives,” was the message from Guam Governor Eddie Baza Calvo during a 20-minute long public briefing with the Department of Homeland Security.
“We don’t want to put fear on the people as well…but we have to understand the dangers that there are today.”
At this stage there have been no official alerts issued by Guam’s Office of Civil Defence.
World leaders call for restraint
The latest statements from Mr Trump came within hours of China publicly clarifying the nation’s position on any potential conflict and a day after US Defence Secretary James Mattis said the US was ready to counter any threat from Pyongyang.
China has warned North Korea that if it strikes the United States first it will remain neutral but it also urged the US not to “play with fire” as the war of words has intensified in recent days.
“The Korean Peninsula is where the strategic interests of all sides converge, and no side should try to be the absolute dominator of the region,” it said in an editorial published in the Communist Party-run Global Times.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged the two nations to come to a peaceful solution and called for China to do more.
“I don’t see a military solution to this conflict,” Chancellor Merkel told reporters in Berlin.
“I see the need for enduring work at the UN Security Council…as well as tight cooperation between the countries involved, especially the US and China.
“Germany will be intensively involved in any non-military solutions.
“But an escalation of the rhetoric is the wrong answer.”
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, echoing Ms Merkel’s sentiment, said “the rhetoric in Washington and Pyongyang is now starting to go over the top”.
“We still hope and believe that common sense will prevail.”
— with agencies