(SEOUL, South Korea) — North Korea and the United States traded escalating threats, with President Donald Trump threatening Pyongyang “with fire and fury like the world has never seen” and the North’s military claiming Wednesday it was examining its plans for attacking Guam.
The comments follow reports that North Korea has mastered a crucial technology needed to strike the United States with a nuclear missile.
Despite regular North Korean threats against Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific about 2,100 miles (3,400 kilometers) from the Korean Peninsula, it is extremely unlikely that Pyongyang would risk the assured annihilation of its revered leadership with a pre-emptive attack on U.S. citizens.
Still, the competing threats and Trump’s use of North Korea-style rhetoric — Pyongyang has long vowed to reduce Seoul to a “sea of fire” — raise the already high animosity and heighten worries that a miscalculation might spark conflict between the nuclear-armed nations.
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