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Trump Says U.S. Military Is 'Locked And Loaded' To Deal With North Korea


A man watches a TV screen showing a local news program reporting on North Korea's threats to strike Guam with ballistic missiles, at the Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017.

A man watches a TV screen showing a local news program reporting on North Korea's threats to strike Guam with ballistic missiles, at the Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017.

Ahn Young-Joon/AP

“Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely,” President Trump said on Friday, in his latest salvo in the exchange of rhetoric with the isolated regime.

Trump added, “Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!”

The remarks, made via Twitter, come one day after Trump wondered whether he had been stern enough in talking about North Korea earlier this week, when he promised to meet Pyongyang’s threats with “fire and fury”.

In response to the president’s threat, North Korea said its military is preparing to conduct a test firing of four missiles which would fly over Japan and land in waters near the U.S. territory of Guam. The plan could be enacted by mid-August, the Korean Central News Agency said.

Hours after Trump posted his initial statement about North Korea Friday, Trump retweeted a U.S. Pacific Command message that stated that its B-1B Lancer bombers on Guam “stand ready” to carry out a mission “if called upon to do so.”

It would take around 14 minutes for a North Korean missile to arrive in the area, officials in Guam said on Friday, as they discussed their plan to use sirens to alert the public in the event of a launch toward the island.

Reporting from Guam, NPR’s Elise Hu says that leaders there are telling residents not to panic.

Here’s Elise’s update for our Newscast unit:

“Guam is located in a key position in the Pacific for the U.S. military. Guam Gov. Eddie Baza Calvo says he coordinates with Homeland Security and the U.S. military on preparedness procedures.

” ‘What we’re doing right now, we’re reviewing our procedures and processes,’ Calvo said. ‘Things that we’ve done in the past, it’s time to start ensuring that everyone is properly prepared.’

“But Guam’s former delegate to Congress, Robert Underwood, says he’s concerned the 160,000 people of Guam are getting forgotten with President Donald Trump’s escalating rhetoric toward North Korea.

” ‘So, are we just like cannon fodder? Are we just extras, are we just not part of the equation?’ Underwood asked.

“Guam’s leaders say the threat level hasn’t gone up following North Korea’s latest threat.”

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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