Seoul closely monitoring possible Pyongyang provocation

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Seoul, Aug 9 (IANS) South Korea is monitoring “possible provocation” by North Korea after Pyongyang warned of missile strikes against the American Guam island in the Pacific, Seoul’s Unification Ministry said on Wednesday.

Ministry spokesman Baek Tae-hyun said South Korean and US officials were closely monitoring relevant moves in preparation for North Korea’s “further provocation”, Xinhua news agency reported.

Baek said the South Korean military authorities maintained a complete defence readiness in preparation for several possible situations, urging North Korea “to stop provocation and change attitude”.

The remarks followed North Korea’s warning of preemptive missile strikes against the US military base of Guam in response to two US strategic bombers sent on Tuesday to South Korea.

A North Korean Army spokesman earlier on Tuesday said the military was examining an operational plan for an enveloping missile strike at areas around Guam with its intermediate-range ballistic missiles Hwasong-12.

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According to North Korean media, the US military flew two B-1B bombers based on the US Anderson Air Force Base in Guam over the Korean peninsula.

The bombers have been “threatening and blackmailing” North Korea through their frequent visits to the sky above South Korea, it said.

Just hours before North Korea’s warning, US President Donald Trump warned Pyongyang that if it continued to threaten Washington, the Communist nation would face “fire and fury” the world has never seen.



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