North Korea is now considering a preemptive strike on the US territory of Guam.
North Korea military said it was “carefully examining the operational plan for making an enveloping fire at the areas around Guam with medium-to-long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12,” according to a statement carried by the the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
Guam is a territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. The island is 550 square kilometres and has a population of just over 160,000 people. All Guamanians are American citizens by birth.
There is also a large population of Filipinos.
There are said to be about 6,000 US troops on Guam with almost a third of the land controlled by the US military.
The Joint Region Marianas is a US military command combining the Anderson Air Force Base and the Naval Base Guam.
Anderson Air Force Base hosts B52 bombers and fighter jets.
American military commanders have referred to the island as their “permanent aircraft carrier”.
Guam is midway between the restive Korean Peninsula and the South China Sea, where China has territorial disputes with Philippines, one of the oldest Asian partners of the U.S. and a strategically major non-NATO ally.