Japan deploys missile defence over N Korea threat to Guam

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The people of Guam woke up Thursday to another pointed threat from Pyongyang, which vowed to complete a plan to attack waters near the island by mid-August - adding a timeline to a threat from a day earlier that North Korea would create an "enveloping fire" around Guam.

"North Korea better get their act together, or they are going to be in trouble like few nations have ever been in trouble", Trump said, flanked by Vice-President Mike Pence.

North Korea says it is in the final stages of preparing a plan to launch four intermediate-range ballistic missiles over Japan and into waters off the tiny island of Guam, where about 7,000 US troops are based and 160,000 USA civilians live. "They are here to protect the islands, just in case something happens".

"I'm pro military buildup", said resident Gus Aflague, 60, whose grandfather and brother both joined the U.S. Navy.

Japan plans to deploy surface-to-air missiles at four sites to shoot down North Korean missiles that stray into Japanese territory from their intended target of waters around Guam. The plan would be sent to leader Kim Jong Un for approval just before or as the U.S. In the latest development, Gen. Kim Rak Gyom, who heads North Korea's rocket command, said in a statement carried by state media that his country was "about to take" military action near Guam. "Fight tonight" has long been the motto of US forces in South Korea to show they're always ready for combat on the Korean Peninsula.

"I don't see a military solution and I don't think it's called for", Merkel said Friday, calling on the U.N. Security Council to continue to address the crisis.

North Korea is actually capable of hitting Guam with its Hwasong-12.

Guam has been a US territory since 1898, when Spain ceded it in the wake of the Spanish-American War.

The majority of islanders are ethnically Chamorro - the indigenous group that has lived on the island for thousands of years - and their culture is a touchstone for the islander's way of life.

There's a sense of patriotism among those who cite the island's history of Guam residents serving in the US military.

Trump declined to say whether the U.S.is considering a pre-emptive military strike as he spoke to reporters before a briefing with his top national security advisers.

Guam is about 2,100 miles southeast of Pyongyang, and 3,800 miles west of Honolulu.

In August previous year, the North's Foreign Ministry warned that all USA military bases in the Pacific including Guam would "face ruin in the face of all-out and substantial attack" by the North's military.

FILE - In this file image made from video by North Korea's KRT released on July 28, 2017, North Korean leader Kim Jung Un, second from right, gestures at the site of a missile test at an undisclosed location in North Korea. She noted that similar threats in 2013 led to an advanced missile defense system - known as THAAD, for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense - to be permanently placed on the island as a deterrent.

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