17:47 GMT +317 October 2017
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    A view of U.S. military planes parked on the tarmac of Andersen Air Force base on the island of Guam, a U.S. Pacific Territory, August 15, 2017

    ‘Closer to the Trigger’: North Korea Renews Promise to Bomb Guam if Attacked

    © REUTERS/ Erik De Castro
    Asia & Pacific
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    Pyongyang rattled its “sword of justice” Friday by vowing to attack the US territory of Guam with a “salvo of missiles,” one day after stating that it will complete its nuclear weapons program no matter how much international pressure the nation faces.

    The US has threatened Pyongyang in its own ways, recently by flying two B-1B strategic bombers in Pyongyang's backyard and test-firing ground-attack missiles earlier this week before kicking off joint naval exercises with allies South Korea and Japan on Friday.

    The Pentagon's guided-missile-carrying USS Michigan, an Ohio-class submarine, resurfaced from the depths for a port call in the South Korean city of Busan Friday, the US Pacific Fleet announced, just days before supercarrier USS Ronald Reagan begins a 10-day joint exercise with South Korean and Japanese naval vessels.

    "If the US imperialists and South Korean puppets ignite an aggressive nuclear war against us, it would only advance their own demise," the state-run Korea Central News Agency said in a Friday report.

    "Let us take our hand closer to the ‘trigger' for taking the toughest countermeasure," KCNA reported October 13. "The Trump team is trying to provoke the DPRK through such reckless military provocations as [the] dispatch of B-1B, nuclear submarines," and an aircraft "carrier into the waters around the Korean Peninsula," the report states, adding, "such military actions compel the DPRK to take military counteraction."

    The US Navy described the port visit by the USS Michigan in a statement as a "routine visit" that was part of "regularly scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific." The nuclear-armed vessel offers the US fleet "unprecedented strike and special operation mission capabilities from a stealthy, clandestine platform," a Pacific Fleet statement says, adding that it carries "tactical missiles," "superior communications capabilities" and provides assistance to special operation forces missions.

    "Everyone on board is mission ready and I'm proud of being their commanding officer," USS Michigan Capt. Gustavo Gutierrez said. The underwater vessel calls Bremerton, Washington, home and is forward deployed in Guam.

    US President Donald Trump has not tweeted any threats to "Little Rocket Man" in response to Pyongyang's saber-rattling. The president banged out a tweet Friday wishing the US Navy "happy birthday," while adding he has "no greater privilege than to serve" as commander-in-chief of the US military.

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    Tags:
    USS Michigan, missile attack, US Navy, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Guam
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