Trump, North Korea trade escalating threats

US President Donald Trump and 'dear leader' Kim Jong Un of North Korea are in an escalating war of words over Pyongyang's missile and nuclear threats. (File photos)

SEOUL - In an exchange of threats, US President Donald Trump warned Pyongyang of "fire and fury like the world has never seen" and the North's military claimed Wednesday it was examining plans for attacking Guam.

The high-level tit-for-tat follows reports that North Korea has mastered a crucial technology needed to strike the United States with a nuclear missile.

Despite regular North Korean threats against Guam, a US territory in the Pacific about 3,400 kilometres from the Korean Peninsula, it is extremely unlikely that Pyongyang would risk the assured annihilation of its revered leadership with a pre-emptive attack on US citizens. It's also not clear how reliable North Korea's mid-range missiles would be in an attack against a distant target given the relatively few times they've been tested.

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