Seoul shares open lower amid tensions over North Korea

Seoul shares open lower amid tensions over North Korea

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 USA territory of Guam.

Guam's Homeland Security Adviser George Charfauros says officials there are confident "the U.S. Department of Defense is monitoring this situation very closely and is maintaining a condition of readiness".

"I don't understand why people are talking about 'Korea passing, '" the official said, referring to a recent coinage about South Korea being passed over in dealings between North Korea and the US. Pyongyang responded by threatening to launch four ballistic missiles toward the US Pacific territory of Guam, which hosts several military bases.

"Park made the remark during a discussion on North Korea and inter-Korean relations amid heightened tensions in the wake of the North's surprise threat to fire missiles into waters around the United States territory of Guam as a warning against Washington". "I condemn the nuclear tests and missile provocations that North Korea has been carrying out as if it's unbridled".

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Moon also waited 10 days to talk to President Trump after North Korea conducted its second ICBM test July 29 because he was on vacation at the time. This week USA intelligence sources say North Korea has produced a yet-to-be-tested miniaturized nuclear warhead, something that analysts had previously speculated was years away from development.

"North Korea's thoughtless remarks against us including [turning] Seoul into a sea of fire and ludicrous statements against the alliance such as preemptive retaliatory operation and enveloping fire around Guam is a grave challenge to our military and the ROK - U.S. alliance", Army Col. Roh Jae-cheon, a spokesperson for the JCS, told media during a regular news briefing.

Park, a potential presidential candidate, expressed clear opposition to the North's nuclear program. "The government plans to commit constant efforts to the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and reconciliation and cooperation between South and North", he said. Tens of thousands of USA troops remain stationed in South Korea and in nearby Japan.

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