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The Latest: Officials in Guam say it's safe from North Korea
By Unknown :: Google News

The Latest: Officials in Guam say it's safe from North Korea

August 9th, 2017 ~ 3AM EDT

Elected officials in Guam are reassuring constituents that the U.S. territory is safe following North Korea's claim that it is examining its plan for "making an enveloping fire" around the strategically important Pacific island. A nuclear expert who has repeatedly visited North Korea's nuclear facilities says he doubts the country is yet capable of attacking the U.S. territory of Guam with medium- to long-range missiles. Siegfried Hecker, a professor at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation, said Tuesday night in the U.S. that although the North tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles last month, developing a nuclear warhead for such a missile is "extremely challenging and still beyond North Korea's reach." Hecker says the real threat is "stumbling into an inadvertent nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula by misunderstanding or miscalculation." The prime minister says the global community is united in seeking to impose the maximum economic pressure on North Korea "to bring them to their senses without conflict." Security and defense officials on Guam say there is no imminent threat to people there or in the Northern Mariana Islands after North Korea said it was examining its operational plans for attack. Guam's Homeland Security Adviser George Charfauros says officials there are confident "the U.S. Department of Defense is monitoring this situation very closely and is maintaining a condition of readiness." The army said in a statement distributed Wednesday by the state-run news agency that it is studying a plan to create an "enveloping fire" in areas around Guam with medium- to long-range ballistic missiles. Washington's alarm over North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's pursuit of a nuclear capability has intensified in the past month after the North conducted two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles last month. Separately, Japan's defense ministry assessed in a report Tuesday that it is possible that North Korea ha

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