The sharp increase in tensions rattled financial markets and prompted warnings from US officials and analysts not to engage in rhetorical slanging matches with North Korea.
Pyongyang said it was “carefully examining” a plan to strike Guam, which is home to about 163,000 people and a US military base that includes a submarine squadron, an airbase and a Coast Guard group.
A Korean People’s Army spokesman said in a statement carried by state-run KCNA news agency the plan would be put into practice at any moment once leader Kim Jong Un makes a decision.
Guam Governor Eddie Calvo dismissed the North’s threat and said the island was prepared for “any eventuality” with strategically placed defenses. He said he had been in touch with the White House and there was no change in the threat level.