Japan deploys missile defence over N. Korea threat to Guam

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"The shorter-range missile that can reach South Korea and Japan can accommodate larger nuclear warhead payloads", he said.

The already high tensions on the Korean Peninsula spiked further this week as the North threatened to fire missiles into waters around Guam, a key strategic point for the USA military where some of its strategic weapons are deployed, including B-1B and B-52 strategic bombers and the THAAD missile defense system.

Pyongyang on Thursday warned Washington that it could fire intermediate-range ballistic missiles near the waters 30 to 40 km off the coast of the U.S. island of Guam in the Pacific.

There were no signs of panic or an exodus from the island of 163,000 people on Thursday, with its wide roads clogged with commuters and commercial vehicles and shops and restaurants doing brisk trade from South Korean and Japanese tourists drawn to the island's green hills and bright turquoise waters.

Guam is home to about 163,000 people and a U.S. military base.

Ms. Choo also berated North Korea, calling its plan to target Guam "a delusion that would only bring about its self-destruction".

"The state of threat ... has not changed since the bellicose statements of the North Korean leader", he said.

"It was no accident that North Korea threatened to launch four missiles, it deliberately complicates the decisions of US policy makers", he said.

US President Donald Trump said North Korea would be met with "fire and fury" if it continues threats against the US territory.

"If North Korea ignores our warning and carries out this provocation, it will face strong and firm punishment from our military and the South Korea-U.S. alliance". I want to reassure the people of Guam that now there is no threat to our island or the Marianas. It quickly became a key part of worldwide communication (the American trans-Pacific telegraph cable passed through Guam) and transportation (it was a fueling stop for trans-Pacific flights). "I think it will take more missile tests and more nuclear tests to have any confidence in such a design".

He said North Korea "better get its act together" or "things will happen to them like they never thought possible". It also has a spotty record, although its most recent test, in May, was a success. "When you're a territory of the US, it just points out what your role is". "No missile is going to land on Guam", said Carl Peterson, who serves on the Guam Chamber of Commerce's armed forces committee. He pointed out that a decade has passed since the North conducted its first of five nuclear tests in 2006.

Washington has warned it is ready to use force if needed to stop North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear programs but that it prefers global diplomatic action.

A South Korean soldier walks past a television screen showing a graphic of the distance between North Korea and Guam at a railway station in Seoul on August 9, 2017.

The newspaper said U.S. intelligence officials have assessed that a decade after North Korea's first nuclear test explosion, Pyongyang has produced nuclear weapons for ballistic missile delivery, including by intercontinental missiles - the type capable of reaching the continental US.

The way to avert a war with North Korea is to have a conversation, and that's not happening, Hecker said.

While there has been some resistance and displeasure from the people of Guam over the US military's presence, it is also essential to the island's economy, second only to tourism in importance.

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