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10 August 2017, 01:36 | Camille Rivera
Lawmakers slam Trump’s ‘fire and fury’ toward North Korea
"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States".
North Korea did return Trump's threats with tough rhetoric of its own, with an unnamed army spokesman issuing a "serious warning" to the U.S. The spokesman was quoted in state media talking about "enveloping" America's Pacific territory of Guam in missile fire to counteract U.S. bombers that are based there and fly over South Korea - and "get on the nerves" of the North.
Pyongyang's threats against Guam came after Trump's "fire and fury" comment, but the North Korean statement was dated Tuesday, suggesting it was drafted in advance.
Trump's warning came as Pyongyang said it was considering a missile strike near the U.S. territory of Guam and after United States media reported North Korea may have successfully miniaturized a nuclear warhead, considered a key step in becoming a full nuclear power. The exchange followed a Washington Post report, citing a Defense Intelligence Agency analysis, that Pyongyang successfully developed a nuclear warhead to use on its missiles.
The poll was completed after news reports of North Korean missile tests involving intercontinental ballistic missiles which have the potential to reach the USA under the right conditions. "It's kind of the classic Trump in that he overstates things".
The warning comes after the North threatened to retaliate and take "physical" action against the USA over the United Nations' adoption of new sanctions on Saturday.
Experts said that the second one may have put much of the US mainland within range, including Los Angeles and Chicago.
But North Korea warned in a separate KCNA report on Wednesday that it was looking beyond Guam and would hit the United States mainland with preemptive strikes, with the use of nuclear weapons, should there be any sign the USA planned to strike North Korea first. The bombast is so frequent that it is hard to judge the seriousness, particularly as the North has not used its massive conventional arms stockpiles against its neighbours or US military bases in South Korea and Japan.
While Kim's efforts to develop a missile capable of delivering a nuclear weapon to the continental USA face big technological hurdles, he has made significant progress.
"That makes primitive nuclear weapons very heavy, because you have to pack all this around the nuclear material", he explains.
"It's been nearly a year since the fifth nuclear test". North Korea began producing fissile material for bombs in the 1990s and conducted its first nuclear test explosion in 2006.
The former Los Alamos National Laboratory director said advanced re-entry vehicles and mechanisms to defeat missile defense systems may still be years away.
The U.S. could weigh military action if the threat perception changes.
To build a nuclear weapon, Brumfiel says, you start with a lot of conventional explosives that trigger the nuclear chain reaction.
He saw North Korea's statement as a warning to Washington that its missiles could reach targets in the region, rather than one of an actual attack.
Last month's ICBM tests highlighted the growing threat.
North Korea threatened to hit Guam with its Hwasong-12 missiles, which it says can carry a heavy nuclear warhead.
Weapons experts say both of those missiles, created to carry nuclear warheads, could theoretically reach the U.S. mainland, based on the range of two recent missile tests.
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