BRITAIN has called for calm as tensions between the US and North Korea continue to teeter on the brink.

“It is obviously in all our interests to make sure that nothing escalates,” First Secretary of State Damian Green told reporters.

His comments came after Pyongyang said they were ready to fire missiles towards the tiny US territory of Guam, home to around 163,000 people in a matter of days.

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North Korean media said the attack would see four Hwasong-12 rockets pass over Japan and land in the sea about 30km (17 miles) from Guam.

“The Hwasong-12 rockets to be launched by the Korean People’s Army (KPA) will cross the sky above Shimane, Hiroshima and Koichi Prefectures of Japan,” said army chief General Kim Rak Gyom.

“They will fly 3356.7km for 1065 seconds and hit the waters 30-40km away from Guam.”

The plan has yet to be approved by Kim Jong-un.

The governor of Guam told Reuters news that North Korea has in the past always been unpredictable.

“They’re now telegraphing their punch, which means they don’t want to have any misunderstandings.

“I think that’s a position of fear,” said Governor Eddie Calvo.

Tensions have escalated this week after the UN Security Council backed a punishing new round of sanctions against the rogue state following the test firing of two intercontinental ballistic missiles, which experts say could hit the US mainland.

On Tuesday Donald Trump made an explicit threat of nuclear war against the totalitarian state.

“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” Trump said during a meeting on opioids from his golf club in New Jersey. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen”.

Jong-un’s regime responded, claiming “sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him”.

They added that they were prepared to take action to “turn the US mainland into the theatre of a nuclear war”.

They also said that any American strike on North Korean missile and nuclear targets would be “mercilessly repelled.”

The Japanese government has warned North Korea against “provocation”.

“If North Korea conducts provocation in defiance of our military’s grave warning, it will confront the strong and firm response of our military and the US-South Korea alliance,” Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman Roh Jae-cheon said.

Speaking in Edinburgh, Green became the first UK Government minister to comment on the situation in East Asia.

He told reporters: “We are very strongly in support of the UN process, which has and continues to put pressure on North Korea to stop acting in an irresponsible way, and we will continue strongly to support the UN process which will, I hope, help to de-escalate tensions.”

There is reportedly some division in Trump’s government on what to do with North Korea.

According to the New York Times, Trump’s “fire and fury” warning was improvised, unexpected and caught allies and advisers off guard.

Neither Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, or Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis had “reviewed in advance” Trump’s threat.

American allies in Japan and South Korea were also caught off guard, as were China and Russia.

The president is facing a tricky time at the moment, with battles at home both over plans to revamp American health care, and the continuing probe into his campaign’s connections to Russia.

Earlier this week, news emerged that the FBI recently raided the home of his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation, was reportedly seeking the lobbyist’s financial records.