North Korea's military is "examining the operational plan" to strike areas around the U.S. territory of Guam with medium-to-long-range strategic ballistic missiles, state-run news said early Wednesday morning.
Specifically, the statement mentioned a potential strike on Andersen Air Force Base designed "to send a serious warning signal to the U.S." The base is one of two on the Pacific island, which are the closest bases on U.S. soil to North Korea and represent the westernmost tip of the country's military might.
North Korea's comments were published after U.S. President Donald Trump warned Pyongyang that if it continued to threaten the U.S., it would "face fire and fury like the world has never seen."
The governor of Guam issued an urgent video message overnight attempting to reassure constituents.
"I am working with Homeland Security, the rear admiral, and the United States to ensure our safety," Gov. Eddie Bazo Calvo said.
Some nuclear experts doubt the North is actually capable of striking Guam. Still, world leaders are reacting swiftly, with the Japanese and South Korean governments standing with the United States, saying all options remain on the table.
The escalating tensions were made all the more alarming amid new revelations about North Korea's nuclear capability. CBN News confirmed with U.S. intelligence sources that North Korea can now produce a miniaturized nuclear warhead, one that can fit onto an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Harry Kazianis heads up the Defense Studies at The Center for National Interest. He said North Korea had been preparing for this moment for years.
"It's military might be old, but they have 1.1 million troops, 7.7 million in reserve, chemical weapons, biological weapons," Kazianis said. "They have 10,000 artillery troops pointed at Seoul. The damage they could do would be catastrophic."
The news comes days after North Korea test fired a long-range ballistic missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland. U.S. intelligence now believes Kim Jong Un could have as many as 60 nuclear weapons.
Many argue the U.S. should have done something to stop the North Korean nuclear program years ago.