Recently, Kim Jong Un, the autocratic leader of North Korea, renewed the rogue regime’s threats to strike at Guam, the closest United States territory, 2,100 miles from the Korean Peninsula. According to released reports, the planned strike would see North Korea fire four intermediate-range ballistic missiles at Guam which would hit the water about 20 miles from the island’s coast. The four Hwasong-12 rockets would fly over the islands of Japan before reaching their destination just miles from the U.S. air bases on the atoll. The maneuver would mark the first time a North Korean missile is fired over Japan.

In response to Kim Jong Un’s threats, President Trump has escalated his rhetoric towards the regime, promising that any provocative move to attack the U.S., or any of its territories, would be met with “fire and fury.”  In a Twitter post, President Trump said that “Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely.”

Guam has been a U.S. territory since the end of the Spanish-American War of 1898 when the Spanish transferred Guam to U.S. Navy control. Currently, 160,000 U.S. citizens call Guam home. Guam hosts the Joint Region Marianas, a U.S. military command combining a Navy and Air Force installation made up of 7,000 troops. The U.S. fleet of nuclear submarines dock there for extended periods of time. The U.S. military presence on Guam allows the U.S. to deter North Korea and respond to any other potential threats emanating from Asia, including China’s increased actions to build man-made islands on in the South China Sea.

All of the options for dealing with the North Korean threat carry risk, and experts almost universally believe U.S. leaders will inevitably have to choose between the best of many unappealing options. North Korea has thousands of artillery pieces and rockets within striking distance of Seoul, the capital of South Korea as well as Japan and U.S. military bases throughout the region.

All of the options for dealing with the North Korean threat carry risk, and experts almost universally believe U..S leaders will inevitably have to choose between the best of many unappealing options. North Korea has thousands of artillery pieces and rockets within striking distance of Seoul, the capital of South Korea as well as Japan and U.S. military bases throughout the region.