North Korea hones Guam strike plans, mocks U.S. president

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The United States is likely to "seriously consider" shooting down any North Korean missiles tests aimed at the waters around the US territory of Guam, but experts warn the technology isn't guaranteed to work. In 2013, Kim Jong Un ordered his military to prepare plans to attack US bases in Guam, Hawaii, South Korea, and the continental United States.

It's been a USA territory since 1898. Seoul is 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) to the northwest, Tokyo is 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometers) north and Taipei is 1,700 miles (2,700 kilometers) west. Pyongyang responded by threatening to launch four ballistic missiles toward the US Pacific territory of Guam, which hosts several military bases.

All this comes amid reports that Pyongyang may have finally succeeded in miniaturising a nuclear weapon that could fit on an inter-continental missile - a prospect long-dreaded by the United States and its Asian allies.

Markets remained concerned over the risk of a United States first-strike against North Korean nuclear facilities. "And even people who make cell phones, who have substantially more testing than THAAD does, sometimes have cell phones burn up", he said. The military plans to move thousands of U.S. Marines to Guam from Okinawa in southern Japan.

Still, a certain island calm prevails amid the tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.

On Thursday, New York Fed President William Dudley said he expects sluggish USA inflation to rise over the next several months while the hot labor market gets even hotter.

The American military presence on Guam consists of two bases: Andersen Air Force Base in the north and Naval Base Guam in the south.

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The U.S. took control of Guam in 1898, when Spanish authorities surrendered to the U.S. Navy.

Guam is a tiny island in the Western Pacific Ocean.

Despite President Trump's threat of "fire and fury", North Korea is carrying on with its plan to "envelope Guam with fire", which Pyongyang said would be ready by mid-August.

"The DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people", Mattis said in a statement, using the acronym of the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

If any of the four long-range missiles successfully made it through us defense, Mount said, it would be a huge victory for the rogue state.

Asian stocks fell, with South Korea's benchmark index and Japan's Nikkei both closing down more than 1 percent, while gold and the safe-haven yen strengthened. The official added, however, "it is important for the North Koreans to understand that this country's strategic patience is exhausted and that our resolve to defend our allies, whatever is required to do that, is not".

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