Action again North Korea's ballistic missiles a hard call for US

A man walks past the Seoul office of the Guam Visitors Bureau in Seoul

-South Korea exercises later this month that North Korea, now finalizing plans to launch a salvo of missiles toward Guam, claims are a rehearsal for war.

An official decision to deploy the Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) missiles at Ground Self-Defense Force bases in the Chugoku and Shikoku regions will likely be made within a few days, government sources said.

The 40-minute conversation came as jitters among South Koreans were growing over President Trump's threat to deal with North Korea with "fire and fury" and the North's warning that it would respond with an "enveloping" missile barrage around Guam, home to major American military bases.

Pyongyang identified three of those areas - Shimane, Hiroshima and Kochi prefectures - in its statement last week. US allies Japan and South Korea quickly vowed a strong reaction if the North were to follow through.

The government hopes to complete deployment of the system in western Japan by Saturday morning, Kyodo News said, quoting defence ministry officials. A THAAD battery includes a truck-mounted launcher, tracking radar, interceptor missiles and an integrated fire control system.

Hours earlier, as North Korea's war of words with US President Donald Trump intensified, Pyongyang said it was developing a plan to launch four intermediate-range missiles towards the Pacific island.

Andersen Air Force Base houses a Navy helicopter squadron and Air Force bombers that rotate to Guam from the US mainland, including the B-2 stealth bomber, B-1 and B-52.

Called Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, the exercises are expected to run from August 21-31 and involve tens of thousands of American and South Korean troops on the ground and in the sea and air. She added: "I think escalating the rhetoric is the wrong answer".

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French President Emmanuel Macron called for the worldwide community to work with North Korea to "resume the path of dialogue without conditions", following a call with Trump Saturday.

"Now is time to start reviewing nuclear armament", the Korea Herald said in an editorial yesterday.

Such threats are why the Americans are on Guam to begin with.

"There's a lot of disbelief going on, there's a lot of anxiety", Father Paul Gofigan told CNN after the mass.

The U.S. military has said it plans to increase its presence on Guam and will move thousands of U.S. Marines now stationed in Japan to the island between 2024 and 2028. We live on a small island.

Having experienced a Japanese invasion in World War Two and countless earthquakes and super-typhoons, there was no United States community better prepared than Guam "for any contingency", Calvo, dressed in a light blue tropical shirt, said in an interview at his office.

"Nobody really deserves to be caught in the middle of these games", said Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero, an activist who campaigns for a lowered military presence.

"We are concerned about these threats but at the same time we also want to make sure people don't panic and go on with their lives".

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