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Aug 10, 2017 01:47 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

'Fire, fury and a load of nonsense': What is the North Korea-US tension all about?

North Korea has warned the United States of striking Guam after President Donald Trump's threat to unleash "fire and fury" on Pyongyang.

'Fire, fury and a load of nonsense': What is the North Korea-US tension all about?

North Korea on Thursday called United States President Donald Trump's threat of "fire and fury" as "a load of nonsense".

The hermit nation said that "only absolute force" would have an effect on the US.

North Korean state television said that the country has chalked out a detailed plan to strike the American island of Guam situated in the Pacific region. The plan involves launching four rockets 30 to 40 kilometres away from Guam.

US President Trump had on Tuesday had threatened to unleash "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if America was in danger.

Later in the day, Trump also boasted of American nuclear capabilities being "far stronger and more powerful than ever before".

According to a report by CNBC, the Pentagon has prepared a detailed plan for a pre-emptive strike on North Korea's missile sites.

Comments from both sides come at a time when tensions between the two nuclear-armed countries are at an all-time-high.

What is North Korea up to?

North Korea and the United States have had sour relations since the Korean War of early 1950s when the Americans supported South Korea. Even today, America remains the South's closest allies and has its missiles stationed in the country.

The United States is seen by the North as a threat and American attempts at ousting the ruling Kim family has only forced the country to drift away from diplomacy.

The Kim Jong-un-led nation believes that possessing nuclear weapons will act as a deterrent to any American threat.

Over the past two decades, the US-led invasion of Saddam Hussein's Iraq and ouster of Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi only aggravated their concerns.

In the 1990s, Kim Jong-il, father of the current leader, decided to produce nuclear weapons using facilities established in the country by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

US Presidents Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barack Obama failed to stop North Korea from building the weapons despite implementing different tactics.

The country finally managed to produce a nuclear weapon in 2006. However, they did not have a missile capable of carrying the explosive to its intended target.

Since Kim Jong-un took over in 2011, the regime has conducted 84 missile tests, a 425 percent increase from the previous leader's rule.

In July, the Kim regime tested Hwasong-14, an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of striking parts of mainland US.

What does the US say?

The United States considers North Korea as a "rogue state" and does not want it to have a nuclear weapon.

North Korea walked out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2003, which aims at stopping the spread of nuclear weapons.

The United States has wanted to resolve the issue through talks.

But alarmed by North's fresh capability to strike the US mainland, in July, Nikki Haley, the US envoy to the United Nations said that "time for talks is over."

Over the weekend, the United Nations imposed fresh sanctions on North Korea that could possibly cut its export revenues by a third.

Infographic: Guam's Strategic Importance to the U.S. | Statista
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