Japan prepares to intercept stray missiles from N. Korea

US President Donald Trump and Senator Mitch Mc Connell Feud

US President Donald Trump and Senator Mitch Mc Connell Feud

Despite North Korea's threats to prepare plans within days that would surround Guam with "enveloping fire", fears of a potential attack have not deterred tourists from visiting Guam, he said.

Gaminde's remarks comes after North Korea announced earlier on Thursday that the nation has a detailed plan for a missile strike near Guam, where about 7,000 USA troops are stationed, using four intermediate-range ballistic rockets.

The tiny USA territory of Guam feels a strong sense of patriotism and confidence in the American military, which has an enormous presence on the Pacific island. And with the North's nuclear and missile threats rapidly growing, South Korea aims to get its three-stage defense system done sooner - by 2022 rather than the *mid-20's. The American military presence on Guam consists of two bases - Andersen Air Force Base in the north and Naval Base Guam in the south - which are home to 7,000 US troops.

For decades, Guam has been a critical asset for the USA military, housing 6,000 troops and strategic bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

North Korea threatened to launch ballistic missiles at waters off the coast of Guam earlier this week in an escalating war of words between the country and President Trump.

Guam was claimed by Spain in 1565 and became a USA territory in 1898 during the Spanish-American War.

There are two major bases on Guam: Andersen Air Force Base in the north and Naval Base Guam in the south.

The ARF statement expressed "grave concern" over North Korea missile tests, including the tests of what analysts have said are intercontinental ballistic missiles.

"The two sides reaffirmed their promise to closely and transparently cooperate on the steps to be taken in each stage to help ensure the security and safety of both South Korea, the United States and their people", the government said. Japan selected the U.S. Air Force's KC-46A Pegasus tanker in 2015.

In addition to the military presence, Guam also relies heavily on tourism to boost its economy, attracting more than 1.5 million visitors drawn to its pristine beaches and luxury resorts in 2016.

Guam elected its first governor in 1970 and, since 1972, has had one nonvoting delegate in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Because Guam is a USA territory, the US military may launch forces from there without worrying about upsetting a host nation that may object to USA actions.

But there's also some resentment about not being able to vote in the general election for US president. Chamorros are the indigenous people of Guam.

In 2013, state media cited leader Kim Jong Un as having ordered his military to prepare plans on launching strikes on US military bases in Guam, Hawaii and South Korea as well as the American mainland.

In that case, Onedera said that Japan could exercise the right to collective self-defense and intercept the missiles.

"The circumstances are unfortunate but this is a good opportunity for us to educate the world about Guam and our culture, about where we are, and who we are", said Josh Tyquiengco, marketing director at Guam Visitors Bureau, the official agency for the island.

McAvoy reported from Honolulu.

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