19:01 GMT +320 June 2019
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    The intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 is seen in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, July, 4 2017.

    Oops! Guam Radio Stations Mistakenly Trigger Emergency Alert Amid War Tensions

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    Residents of Guam were rattled Tuesday after an emergency warning indicating an imminent attack was accidentally broadcast over two radio stations on the US territory. The timing was inopportune to say the least, considering North Korea’s recent threats to launch missiles near the island.

    Several people reportedly called the police after hearing the Emergency Alert Broadcast System issue the "civil danger" warning at 12:25 a.m. local time. The errant message was later confirmed to be a mistake, AFP reports. 

    This gaffe comes a week after Pyongyang’s state-run Korean Central News Agency  (KCNA) said that by mid-August the communist nation will develop a plan to launch four intermediate range missiles at Guam before presenting it to leader to Kim Jong-un.

    Guam National Security Advisor George Charfauros responded to the threat saying that the island’s missile defense systems will protect it from any such provocations from the North.

    KCNA reported Tuesday that Kim "examined the plan for a long time" on Monday and “discussed it” with commanding officers, remarking, "the US imperialists caught the noose around their necks due to their reckless military confrontation racket".

    Kim seemed to be backing off his threat, saying through KCNA that he would "watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees spending a hard time of every minute of their miserable lot," according to Channel News Asia.

    Kim added, "In order to defuse the tensions and prevent the dangerous military conflict on the Korean peninsula, it is necessary for the US to make a proper option first and show it through action, as it committed provocations after introducing huge nuclear strategic equipment into the vicinity of the peninsula."

    Guam Homeland Security released a statement saying the "unauthorised test was not connected to any emergency, threat or warning" and that the agency would be working with the stations to make sure such a faux pas never happened again.

    The war of words between Washington and Pyongyang has escalated since North Korea conducted two intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests in July, claiming that the projectiles are capable of reaching the US mainland and carrying a nuclear weapon.

    Recent intelligence gathered from the US and Japan indicate that the latter may be possible. However, it is well-agreed-upon that North Korea is capable of reaching Guam with missiles.

    The United Nations unanimously voted to level sanctions against the North for its most recent weapons activity.

    North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho responded to this last week at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Manila, saying that the North’s "possession of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles is a legitimate option for self-defence in the face of a clear and real nuclear threat posed by the US," CNN reports.

    He added, "We will, under no circumstances, put the nukes and ballistic rockets on the negotiating table."

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    Tags:
    North Korea missile launch, North Korean nuclear program, missile threat, accident, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), United States, Guam
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