Economy

South Korea Says US Promises Coordination in Standoff With North

South Korea Says US Promises Coordination in Standoff With North

South Korea's military said on Thursday North Korea's recent statements regarding striking the US territory of Guam are a challenge against Seoul and the U.S.

Anchor: Japan has said that it could intercept North Korean missiles headed towards Guam if they pass over the Japanese territory. Although most South Koreans loathe the repressive regime in the North and its nuclear pursuit, they also are afraid that the South has more to lose in a war than the impoverished North, a fear that the regime of Kim Jong-un, the North's leader, has been using as leverage.

Pyongyang's state-run KCNA news agency said on Thursday its army would complete plans in mid-August to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan to land near Guam amid increasingly heated rhetoric over the North's nuclear weapons program. Now, about 160,000 people live on Guam.

Guam is home to about 163,000 people and a United States military base that includes a submarine squadron, an air base and a Coast Guard group.

Itsunori Onodera told Japan's parliament, or Diet, that a North Korean attack against Guam would be considered an existential threat to the country and give Japan the right to activate its Aegis destroyer missile defense system.

Tillerson and other officials said Trump was trying to send a message in language Kim Jong Un could understand.

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The Associated Press says talks have been going on between the United States envoy for North Korea policy and a senior North Korean diplomat.

President Donald Trump says North Korea's leader will "regret it fast" if he threatens or acts against Guam, or any other US territory or ally.

But Trump's comments sparked widespread unease, with many observers noting they sounded more like North Korea's trademark rhetoric than the usually cautious diplomatic language employed by US presidents.

"It must be noted that the combined allied militaries now possess the most precise, rehearsed and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth", Mattis said. "There are many people that I have come in contact with that didn't even know Guam existed", he said. There are around 6,000 military personnel on Guam, but that number is set to almost double when 5,000 Marines are relocated from Japan to the island as part of a $20 billion DOD investment in the island. In fact, North Korea's weapons are in many ways more closely related to the nuclear weapons dropped by America at the end of World War II than they are to modern nuclear warheads. "So I think it's important to be very strong".

China will pay the biggest price from the new United Nations sanctions against North Korea because of its close economic relationship with the country but will always enforce the resolutions, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

North Korea has frequently threatened to target USA bases in the region as well as to turn the South Korean capital Seoul into a "sea of fire".

North Korea not to surrender its nuclear arsenal
Wang also urged the US and South Korea "to stop increasing tensions" and said that all sides should return to negotiations. But Washington's top diplomat stopped short of giving further details on what time frame the US was considering.

"They said and promised me they would take care of our people and of Guam", said Rep. Madeline Bordallo.

A land-based variant of a submarine-launched missile now under development, North Korea first successfully flight-tested this solid-fuel midrange missile in February.

He saw North Korea's statement as a warning to Washington that its missiles could reach targets in the region, rather than one of an actual attack.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command headquartered in Colorado makes the determination whether the missile poses a threat to the continental US. "Certainly they feel more reassured with me than they do with other presidents from the past because nobody's really done the job that they're supposed to be doing".

"The Strategic Force is also considering the plan for opening to public the historic enveloping fire at Guam, a practical action targeting the US bases of aggression", the statement said. But residents are increasingly anxious over Washington's escalating war of words with North Korea.

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