Washington has deployed three B-2 bombers and 200 airmen to its base on the Pacific territory, in a move that is set to antagonise Pyongyang.
Kim Jong-un will find this move so provocative that we can expect North Korea will be preparing for a nuclear strike at this very moment, according to Dr Ramon Pacheco Pardo, a senior lecturer in international relations at King’s College London.
He told Express.co.uk: “North Korea has always said, ‘We are ready to counter any provocation from the US’, and I’m sure they will be making preparations in case of a strike now.”
Dr Pacheco explained North Korea would regard the B-2 deployment as a provocation, in the same way it would condemn any US military activity in the region.
He saidd: “If you look at North Korean policy, for a long period of time they have said that any military capability deployed by the US that is within reach of North Korea is a provocation, from their perspective.
“In the same way, they have said that military exercises, even if they are defensive exercises, between South Korea and the US, are a provocation.”
Kim Jong-un has already threatened a nuclear strike on Guam, in the wake of Donald Trump’s infamous “fire and fury” threat against his rogue regime.
North Korea threatened the US territory again in October, branding Guam “an advance base for invading”.
Kim Jong-un is likely preparing for a nuclear strike NOW as US bombers deploy to Guam
US bomber drills conducted from Guam have previously been described as deliberate attempts to “threaten and blackmail” the secretive dictatorship.
Dr Pacheco warned the US is “preparing for all scenarios”, including a full-blown nuclear war with North Korea, as tensions escalate in the region.
He emphasised that the US has always been prepared for war with North Korea, but is simply much more explicit that this is a possibility in 2018.
Dr Pacheco said: “If you look at policy historically, the US has said for a long period that if North Korea strikes, they will counter strike. But Trump is much more explicit that war is a real possibility.
US B-2 bombers have arrived in Guam in a possible provocative move to North Korea
“In theory a nuclear strike is against US policy; they say they will never use nuclear weapons first and wouldn’t use them against non-nuclear states. On the surface this seems to have changed under Trump.
“But if you look at the Bush and Clinton administrations, they did consider the possibility of war with North Korea. Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defence for George W. Bush, said it could be an option, and Bill Clinton also said it would have to be an option.
“Back then North Korea didn’t have nuclear weapons so the conflict would have been more contained.
“I don’t think anyone really believes North Korea is going to use its weapons first, but now the US has to consider that possibility and prepare for all scenarios.”
It comes as the White House praised China’s moves to reduce its trade with North Korea, saying it will help the US-led effort to apply maximum pressure on Pyongyang over its nuclear program.
The White House said in a statement: “The Donald J. Trump Administration is pleased that China is sharply reducing its trade with North Korea.
“This action supports the United States-led global effort to apply maximum pressure until the North Korean regime ends its illicit programs, changes its behaviour, and moves toward denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.”