CBRN Assessment

North Korea threatens IRBM launches as US mulls response

14 August 2017

Key Points

  • North Korea threatened to launch missiles over Japan that would land near Guam as part of an increasingly fierce rhetorical feud with US President Donald Trump.
  • Other administration officials have been quietly pushing a diplomatic face on the dispute, while considering how to respond if North Korea carries out the launch.

North Korea elevated the rhetorical arms race between the country’s leadership and US President Donald Trump on 10 August, threatening to launch intermediate range ballistic missiles (IRBMs) into the waters the near US territory Guam.

The threat came after Trump threatened “fire and fury” against North Korea, words that Trump said might not be “tough enough” in public comments after North Korea’s threat.

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