Japan deploys Patriot missile interceptors amid North Korean threats to strike Guam

The Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile interceptors were deployed in Shimane, Hiroshima and Kochi prefectures, which North Korea said its missiles could cross over, as well as Ehime which is located between Hiroshima and Kochi.

The United States military could shoot a volley of North Korean missiles headed towards Guam, but it would not be easy and success would be far from certain.

The surface-to-air missile defence systems were deployed in four prefectures of western Japan after North Korea said it is "seriously examining" a plan to simultaneously fire intermediate-range ballistic missiles in an "enveloping strike at Guam".

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Japan's missile defense program includes the Maritime Self-Defense Force's (SDF) Aegis destroyers, aimed at shooting down airborne missiles, and the Air Self-Defense Force's PAC-3 system, which is aimed at countering missiles that evade Aegis interceptors.

Japan has in the past vowed to shoot down North Korean missiles or rockets that threaten to hit its territory, though Suga declined to disclose details about its strategy this time.

"The Strategic Force of the KPA (Korean People's Army) is seriously examining the plan for an enveloping strike at Guam through simultaneous fire of four Hwasong-12 IRBMs in order to interdict the enemy forces on major military bases on Guam and to signal a crucial warning to the USA", the official KCNA news agency quoted General Kim Rak-Gyom as saying.

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The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump is said to have been considering behind closed doors a military attack on North Korea as a possible option.

He added that he hopes North Korean leader will "find another path".

On August 8, Donald Trump had warned that if North Korea does not stop threatening the U.S., it "will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen".

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