France and Germany have urged a de-escalation of tensions between Washington and Pyongyang in North Pacific after North Korea said it was “seriously examining a plan” to launch a missile strike targeting an area close to the US island territory of Guam in response to Donald Trump’s previous warning that any additional threats will be met with “fire and fury”.
The North Korean Strategic Force of the Korean People’s Army is “seriously examining the plan for an enveloping strike at Guam through simultaneous fire of four Hwasong-12 intermediate-range strategic ballistic rockets in order to interdict the enemy forces on major military bases on Guam and to signal a crucial warning to the US,” the statement from Pyongyang said. The statement further added that the Hwasong-12 rockets would fly 3,356.7 kilometers above Shimane, Hiroshima and Koichi prefectures of Japan and hit the waters 30 to 40 kilometers away from the island.
Paris called on both leaders to act responsibly and de-escalate the situation, saying that France was “preoccupied” by the situation. Berlin joined Paris and also called on China and Russia to deter North Korea from initiating moves that could lead to a military escalation on the Korean peninsula. “China and Russia have a special responsibility to do everything they can to dissuade North Korea from a path of escalation,” spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer added. Guam is home to two significant US military bases, the country’s most westerly military installations, currently hosting around 5,000 military personnel. The island is often dubbed the “tip of the spear” and is key to the United States’ deployment presence in the Pacific.