North Korea recently threatened to bomb Guam, an act that would be deemed as highly detrimental for US military operations. However, there are still many questions regarding this, including why they would threaten this, what the interactions of others involved were, and what they are doing now.
About a year ago, a major cyber attack stole a master war plan that was made by the US and South Korea, detailing many major areas where and how a war would go down. This can easily explain why Guam, who is a major supplier of weapons to US troops, was targeted.
— Intl. Business Times (@IBTimes) February 8, 2018
Two radio stations in Guam aired a warning test of the missile strike, which frightened many of the citizens of Guam. The Homeland Security Office called the alarms “an unscheduled test of the Emergency Alert Broadcast System.” The level of fear makes sense, as not only are US forces stationed there but also because Guam is home to about 160,000 people, who could all be wiped out by the bombing.
China Is Placing Underwater Sensors In The Pacific Near Guam to listen for US submarines https://t.co/BGeywoNpc6
— Michael Ron Bowling (@mrbcyber) February 7, 2018
This comes after decades of failed talks with North Korea to renounce their nuclear weapons programs, as well as ignoring or cheating their international obligations. US President Donald Trump claimed, “Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely.” Also stating that he would rain down “fire and fury” if North Korea made any more threats.
After hearing the plans, North Korean leader Kim Jong Unpulled back, deciding not to send various missiles at Guam. Kim stated he “would watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees,” referring to the US. He also claimed that the US should not test North Korea’s self-restraint.
Guam Homeland Security adviser George Charfauros said “There is no change in the threat level…We are very … I’d say almost ecstatic that Kim Jong Un has backed off.”
US stealth bombers in Guam are unlikely to easily take out #DPRK's #wmd infrastructure, since there are likely more than just 5 sites, @mhanham tells @alexjlockie of @businessinsider https://t.co/HdKTkfsa0z
— CNS (@CNS_Updates) January 29, 2018
NPR’s Elise Hu, stationed in South Korea says: “Monday, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said if North Korean missiles were considered a threat to Guam, then, ‘It’s game on.’ Others in the Trump administration, like Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, continue to try and push a diplomatic solution to the current nuclear issue.”
When North Korea threatened Guam, “Elise knew she had to go, but she was still nursing baby Luna. ‘So that meant I had to take the baby,’ she said, ‘because I didn’t want to put her on formula.’” Great tale of colleague @elisewho & her work-life balance:
— Steve Inskeep (@NPRinskeep) February 1, 2018
However, preparations have not been seen in all US stations worldwide, for instance, DefenseNews writes:
“In Yokosuka, Japan, the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed ready aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan sits peacefully pier-side, along with the U.S. 7th Fleet command ship Blue Ridge. On the Korean Peninsula, the State Department has not advised American citizens to leave the country and U.S. military family members are not being evacuated. No Marines are being loaded on amphibious ships; no sailors have been recalled off leave to prepare for emergency operations, and no ballistic missile defense ships have been sortied to North Korea, the waters off Japan or to Guam, three sources said.”
In fact, threats from North Korea are quite common, according to the Wall Street Journal:
“Two years ago, during another August standoff, North Korea issued a 48-hour ultimatum to South Korea to switch off loudspeakers blaring propaganda critical of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un across the demilitarized zone that separates the two countries, following the explosion of a landmine there that maimed two South Korean soldiers.
Air Force deployed B-2 stealth bombers to Guam as sensitive talks involving North Korea commencedhttps://t.co/ZLl5lx7JcF
— The Vengeant ® (@TheVengeant) February 2, 2018
North Korea threatened to use force to stop the broadcasts. South Korea ignored the deadline, and days later, North Korea expressed regret for the landmine, dismissed several senior officials and put inter-Korean relations back on what it called a “track of reconciliation and trust.” South Korea shut off its loudspeakers. In March last year, also during U.S.-South Korea military exercises, Pyongyang threatened to attack Seoul’s presidential palace unless it received an apology from the South Korean President Park Geun-Hye. No apology was forthcoming, and the threat never materialized.”
So this may just be another “big talk no walk” moment from North Korea, but being prepared to unleash “Fire and Fury” in which case the threat becomes a real issue is a good tactic.