The annual August North Korean provocation cycle that happens just about every year around the Ulchi Freedom Guardian US-ROK military exercise continues to escalate. The latest is that the Kim regime is no longer happy attacking fish in the Sea of Japan with their ballistic missiles and are instead drawing up plans to attack the fish off of Guam:
North Korea said Thursday an operational plan targeting waters near Guam will be completed by mid-August and reported to leader Kim Jong-un for his final order, threatening to send four Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missiles over Japan to land 30 to 40 kilometers (19 to 25 miles) away from the American island in the Western Pacific.
The North didn’t mention when the operation would be carried out, but said it would “keep closely watching the speech and behavior of the U.S.” for cues. The statement was made in English by Kim Rak-gyom, commander of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) Strategic Force, and released via the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
The more specific threat to Guam and its U.S. naval base came after U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday in New Jersey that North Korea will face “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if it continues to threaten the United States. The North relayed its Guam threat for the first time Wednesday through KCNA without any timeline.
The KPA is “seriously examining the plan for an enveloping strike at Guam through simultaneous fire of four Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic rockets,” the KCNA report read Thursday, adding that the operation was meant to send a “crucial warning” to the U.S. about its sanctions on the regime. [Joong Ang Ilbo]
I think Secretary of Defense Mattis has made the best statement for Kim Jong-un:
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Wednesday in Washington that Pyongyang should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the “end of its regime and the destruction of its people.”
I think that is the talking point the US government needs to repeat to North Korea as well as their ally China that any provocation on Guam will lead to the end of the Kim regime.