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Japan deploys missile defence over N Korea threat to Guam

14 August 2017
Japan deploys missile defence over N Korea threat to Guam

President Donald Trump told Guam's governor Saturday morning that the USA territory is "not going to have a problem" and its people are safe.

Trump tweeted Friday: "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely".

American and South Korean officials said they would move forward with large-scale military exercises later this month that North Korea claims are a rehearsal for war. "The legislative branch of the USA government is hearing about these developments on Twitter at the same time as Kim Jong Un", Ben Marter, a spokesman for the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, Dick Durbin of IL, told CNN.

Officials haven't raised the US territory's threat level even after Pyongyang laid out plans to strike near the island in the coming weeks, Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo said.

Unlike past missile launches that landed much closer to North Korean territory, firing a barrage near Guam would be extremely provocative, nearly compelling a response.

Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, also a US territory, are home to more than 200,000 Americans.

Trump furthered the rhetoric on Friday, saying that the USA military was "locked and loaded" to deal with the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula. But pushing the envelope, or just threatening to do so, is what North Korea does best. And if North Korea's missiles prove no match for USA interceptors, Kim Jong Un might be chastened into thinking twice before conducting any more.

Lastly, being the consummate deal maker that he envisions himself as, Trump doesn't want to let a "good crisis go to waste" and would like to achieve some tangible diplomatic dividends from it when all is said and done.

The North then threatened to lob missiles near Guam, a tiny US territory some 2,000 miles from Pyongyang.

As it is, the US has a robust military presence in the region, including six B-1 bombers in Guam and Air Force fighter jet units in South Korea, plus other assets across the Pacific Ocean and in the skies above. Neither the United States nor North Korea has embraced the plan.Lavrov said the risks of a military conflict over North Korea's nuclear program are very high and Moscow is deeply anxious by the threats from Washington and Pyongyang.

According to North Korean state media, the alleged strike will happen in mid-August. "Fight tonight" has long been the motto of USA forces in South Korea to show they're always ready for combat on the Korean Peninsula. "It looks attractive, you know I'm watching...it's such a big story in the news". I think it's important to be strong, but at the same time be calm. Trump later said that those comments may not have been "tough enough."

"For me because I'm a father, so it's really concerning, you know, I wish it didn't have to come to that", he said.

Calvo, a fellow Republican, responded, "Mr. President, as the governor of Guam representing the people of Guam and as an American citizen, I have never felt more safe or so confident than with you at the helm".

Two days after North Korea laid out its plans to strike near Guam with unsettling specificity, there was no observable march toward combat. Pyongyang says it will be ready to send its missile launch plan to Kim for approval just before or as the drills begin.