Japan says 'can never tolerate' North Korea provocations

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Media and conservative politicians in South Korea have asked for a "nuclear balance" on the peninsula amid escalating tensions between Pyongyang and America. USA defense spending is the main economic driver of the island, making up about 40 percent of its gross domestic product, followed by tourism. "The U.S. came here because I think they wanted the land and they helped us out with the Japanese, because I think they wanted the land". But if the missiles aren't expected to hit the island - the stated goal is to have them hit waters well offshore - should it?

North Korea's estimated splashdown of the missiles would place them just outside Guam's 12 nautical mile territorial waters, but well within its 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone - waters where locals fish for tuna and blue marlin.

The tension comes on the heels of an intelligence report that suggested North Korea has miniaturized nuclear weapons to fit on missiles.

A USA strike against North Korea would need the support of South Korea, he said, because the North would likely retaliate against the South and its 600,000 troops.

It was not the first time Guam has been put on notice and similar threats made since 2013 led to the USA military permanently deploying a Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) interceptor system on the tiny island.

For Pyongyang, Guam is seen as a prime target because it's the closest United States military presence on American soil to North Korea, and because military assets from here are sometimes deployed near the Korean Peninsula.

FILE - In this July 4, 2017, file photo distributed by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, second from right, inspects the preparation of the launch of a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in North Korea's northwest.

In 2013, the Army sent a missile defense system to Guam called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense or THAAD.

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"The system's created to engage multiple targets simultaneously, so that should be quite feasible to do", Bennett said. "The closer you get to that, you're stressing the performance of the system", he said.

For now, officials are instead focussed on changing the missile guidelines, which allow Seoul to have ballistic missiles with a flight range capped at 800 km (497 miles), topped with a maximum 500 kg (1,102 pounds) warhead.

While it is extremely unlikely that Pyongyang would risk the assured annihilation of its revered leadership with a pre-emptive attack on US citizens, some residents of Guam are concerned.

The US military has a large presence here - its bases cover nearly a third of the island's land area - and prepares for worst-case scenarios like this. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson sought to head off North Korea's missile program this week by suggesting that the United States could open talks with Pyongyang if North Korea would halt its missile tests. It would be up to American missile defenses to knock out any that survived and that North Korea might use to attack the United States or its allies.

As he fishes, Martinez says North Korea remains at the back of his mind, despite his best efforts not to think about it.

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

It was also to deploy the anti-missile system in neighbouring Ehime, NHK said.

"My first order as President was to renovate and modernise our nuclear arsenal".

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