North Korea says it is "carefully examining" a plan to strike the American Pacific territory of Guam with missiles, after US President Donald Trump threatened to hit the country “with fire and fury.”
A spokesman for the Korean People's Army said on Tuesday the strike plan will be "put into practice in a multi-current and consecutive way any moment" once North Korean leader Kim Jong-un decided about it, the North's state-run KCNA news agency reported.
The North Korean military said in a separate statement that it could carry out a pre-emptive strike if there were signs of an American provocation.
Hours earlier speaking in New Jersey, Trump said, “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States.”
He said the North Korean leader "has been very threatening beyond a normal state."
“As I said they will be met with the fire and fury and, frankly, power, the likes of which this world has never seen before,” he stated.
US President Donald Trump speaks about North Korea at a meeting with administration officials on the opioid addiction crisis at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on August 8, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Trump’s warning came shortly after The Washington Post, quoting parts of a Defense Intelligence Agency analysis, reported that North Korea crossed a major threshold by successfully producing “nuclear weapons for ballistic missile delivery."
The newspaper said two US officials familiar with the intelligence assessment verified broad conclusions of analysis, but the Pentagon did not comment on the report.  
Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Chris Logan said military action is never off the table regarding North Korea.
"We remain prepared to defend ourselves and our allies and to use the full range of capabilities at our disposal against the growing threat from North Korea," Logan said.
Trump's threat 'can only be interpreted' as nuclear attack
Dan Pfeiffer, former White House communications director
A former senior adviser to former President Barack Obama denounced Trump's warning to North Korea on Tuesday, saying it could "only be interpreted" as a nuclear threat.
"Don't gloss over the fact that Trump threatened what can only be interpreted as a nuclear attack on North Korea if Kim Jong-un taunts him," tweeted Dan Pfeiffer, who also served as a former White House communications director.
North Korea carried out two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles last month. Pyongyang claimed that its latest missile, test-fired on July 4, can deliver a "large, heavy nuclear warhead" to the US continent.
US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said on Saturday the United States is preparing for all options, including a “preemptive war,” to stop North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
McMaster said President Trump has been very clear that the US will not tolerate “North Korea being able to threaten the United States.”
The UN Security Council on the same day passed a resolution slapping sweeping sanctions on the North over its first test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Testing of the US military’s Peacekeeper reentry vehicles, all eight fired from only one missile. Each line represents the path of an individual warhead. One Peacekeeper can hold up to 10 nuclear warheads, each independently targeted.
North Korea says it will not give up on its nuclear deterrence unless Washington ends its hostile policy toward Pyongyang and dissolves the US-led UN command in South Korea. Thousands of US soldiers are stationed in South Korea and Japan.
According to the US military’s recent declaration, the United States has 806 deployed ICBMs, SLBMs (submarine-launched ballistic missile), and heavy bombers as well as 1,722 deployed nuclear warheads.  
The Pentagon is also equipped with a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV), a highly advanced version of the intercontinental nuclear missile carrying several independent warheads.

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