British Prime Minister Theresa May is planning to visit Japan later this month for talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a Japanese government official said Saturday.
Most of the North Korea's weapons have landed in the Sea of Japan. If realized, it would be her first trip to Japan since she took power in July a year ago.
But let's take a step back for a moment: Where is Guam, and why is it in North Korea's crosshairs?
Since Mr. Trump's election victory in November, Mr. Abe has been an eager guest at Trump Tower in NY and at Mar-a-Lago, the president's Florida resort, where the two men bonded in February over golf and responded to a North Korean missile test in full view of diners.
Japan, anxious its ballistic missile defenses could be overwhelmed by swarm attacks or circumvented by warheads launched on lofted trajectories, is likely to acquire a ground-based version of the Aegis missile defense system. North Korea has been increasingly sensitive to the exercises lately because they reportedly include training for "decapitation strikes" to kill Kim Jong Un and his top lieutenants.
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More Americans and Japanese are paying for underground bunkers and bomb shelters amid the growing tensions between U.S. and North Korea, US media have reported.
North Korea on Thursday said plans would be completed by mid-August to fire four intermediate-range missiles to land near Guam, some 3,500 kilometres (2,175 miles) away, after US President Donald Trump said any threat would be "met with fire and fury like the world has never seen".
Even before the latest spike in tensions, South Korea was seeking to enhance its missile-defense capabilities in the face of the unprecedented pace of North Korean missile tests.
"High-ranking American officials too should refrain from using excessive language", said the party's chairwoman, Choo Mi-ae, without mentioning Mr. Trump by name.
The same day a lawmaker of Russia's upper house of parliament, Viktor Ozerov, told Sputnik that Russian Federation had put on high alert its air defense systems in the country's Far East due to the escalation of the Korean crisis. The United States has been threatened via a direct threat to Guam, which isn't just a host for Air Force and Navy bases. Polls show more that only about a third of voters support such constitutional changes.
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Put simply, "in terms of defence we are joined at the hip".
"If not kept well under control, this verbal spat could turn into a military clash", he said, adding that China should dispatch diplomats to engage in shuttle diplomacy to bring the sides to the negotiating table. Both the United States and South Korea say that the #War Games are purely defensive in nature and strategic to deterrent against aggression by Pyongyang.
Commenting on the issue, Kim highlighted that the time has come for the U.S. and North Korea to meet at the negotiating table.
While immediate confirmation of the reports was not available, Japan has in the past vowed to shoot down North Korean missiles or rockets that threaten to hit its territory.
"There's growing concern", said Hideshi Takesada, a specialist on defense issues at the Institute of World Studies at Takushoku University, "about whether the U.S.is really thinking about the security of Japan and South Korea".
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