South Korea urged North Korea to "immediately" stop issuing threats a day after North Korea again said it might launch a missile strike near the US territory of Guam. The rotations also came as North Korea increasingly upped the ante in the standoff over its development of nuclear weapons.
With its latest threat, North Korea is suggesting it could launch four missiles which could potentially overwhelm the THAAD missile defense system and strike near Guam.
"Do not look at the flash or fireball - it can blind you", the note said.
Meanwhile, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said during a session of parliament on August 10 that Japan could shoot down North Korean missiles before they reach Guam.
An official decision to deploy the Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) missiles at Ground Self-Defense Force bases in the Chugoku and Shikoku regions will likely be made within a few days, government sources said. The country, still technically at war with the North after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce and not a peace treaty, has deployed the USA -built Patriot missile defense system, as well as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system. He did not elaborate.
"(The North has) improved their missile launch capacity, but that's neither here nor there", he said. Aegis destroyers are equipped to intercept missiles in the middle of their trajectory while the land-based Patriot PAC-3 system is created to destroy them as they descend towards their targets.
Aegis is able to track 100 missiles simultaneously and fire interceptors to take out an enemy's ballistic projectiles.
Kim Jong Un doesn't need to strike Guam - he's already won
Tensions between the USA and North Korea ratcheted up on Friday , as President Donald Trump doubled down on military threats. At the same time, Beijing will respond if the US and South Korea strike first and try to overthrow the North Korean regime.
Long used to living within the range of North Korea's artillery, people in the South have generally ignored its aggressiveness and nuclear and long-range missile tests.
The military said it's maintaining a state of stern readiness to counter any North Korean threats.
Japan lies only about 620 miles to the east of North Korea.
The drill coincides with the four-day "Ulji Freedom Guardian" military manoeuvres on August 21-24, which are held yearly and include joint exercises by the USA and South Korean armed forces, as well as drills for emergencies.
After a missile attack is over, Guam residents are advised to keep listening for official information from authorities to know what to do next.
Baumgartner, a supervisor at a high-end clothing store, said she was confident USA forces on the island's two bases were ready to intervene, and she bore no grudges about that military presence making Guam a North Korean target. She added: "I think escalating the rhetoric is the wrong answer".
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The president insisted the North had been "getting away with a tragedy that can't be allowed".
Such threats are why the Americans are on Guam to begin with. The air base was built in 1944, when the USA was preparing to send bombers to Japan during World War II.
"Faith is so deeply rooted into our culture", he said.
"I feel that the presence of the military on Guam will help us a lot", said Virgie Matson, 51, a resident of Dededo, Guam's most populated village.
As an unincorporated USA territory, citizens of Guam can not vote in general elections. We live on a small island. Regardless of who was in the White House, he said, diplomacy failed.
"You're playing with people's lives".
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