Guam's residents feel US patriotism but growing concern

Evrard Martin
Août 13, 2017

The government hopes to complete deployment of the system in western Japan by Saturday morning, Kyodo News said, quoting defence ministry officials.

During a lengthy exchange with reporters, President Trump said that his threat to bring "fire and fury" if North Korea continued to threaten the United States may not have gone far enough. If realized, it would be her first trip to Japan since she took power in July previous year.

The escalating threat arising from nuclear-armed North Korea's recent series of missile tests is prompting South Korea to beef up its military muscle and experts warn it could spur an arms buildup elsewhere in Northeast Asia.

Abe and May last met in early July on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

"The United States is not going to start a war over South Korea's head here", Patrick M. Cronin, senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, said on Friday after meeting with White House officials. It is also mulling the acquisition of munitions that would allow it to strike North Korea missile sites.

Japan, anxious its ballistic missile defenses could be overwhelmed by swarm attacks or circumvented by warheads launched on lofted trajectories, is likely to acquire a ground-based version of the Aegis missile defense system. The rotations also came as North Korea increasingly upped the ante in the standoff over its development of nuclear weapons.

North Korea's army said in a statement distributed by state media Wednesday that it was examining a plan to use ballistic missiles to make an "enveloping fire" around Guam, a USA territory that is home to Andersen Air Force Base.

The US island territory's Office of Civil Defence began distributing fact sheets, Preparing for an Imminent Missile Threat, on Friday, to help people prepare for an attack.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command headquartered in Colorado makes the determination whether the missile poses a threat to the continental US. The growing threat from the North has bolstered his drive to strengthen Japan's military, which has always been constrained by the country's war-renouncing Constitution.

But Hartz says the latest North Korea scare feels more serious than previous ones. Polls show more that only about a third of voters support such constitutional changes.

Leaders of Mr. Moon's governing Democratic Party had more pointed jabs for Washington. His main rival, Fumio Kishida, a former foreign minister, appears to be betting that the public favors a more cautious approach to transforming the military. "Making the warhead sufficiently small, light and robust to survive an ICBM delivery is extremely challenging and still beyond North Korea's reach".

In Japan, such comments have served as a reminder of the risks involved in confronting the North militarily.

South Koreans are buying more gold and ready to eat meals, while the government plans to expand nation-wide civil defence drills planned for this month as rhetoric between North Korea and the USA ramps up tension.

Trump's tough talk has contributed to an increase in animosity that is pushing the sides closer to armed conflict, said Cheng Xiaohe of the School of International Studies at Beijing's Renmin University.

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