Palace: Contingency plans ready in case of attack on Guam

But he says that, until that happens, the U.S.

"Yap is just 500km from Guam, this is scary ... they might miss Guam and hit Yap instead LOL", said Leo Pugram in a Facebook post from Micronesia's Yap island.

North Korea's military is "examining the operational plan" to strike areas around the U.S. territory of Guam with medium-to-long-range strategic ballistic missiles, state-run news agency KCNA said early Wednesday local time.

It was a response to U.S. President Donald Trump's unusually stern warning to the DPRK on Tuesday, when he said "North Korea (DPRK) best not make any more threats to the United States". US bombers have flown over the Korean Peninsula several times to show American strength after Pyongyang's missile tests.

If North Korea launches missiles on Guam, it would take only about 14 minutes for the rockets to reach the USA territory, the island's Homeland Security spokeswoman announced. Trying to intercept the missiles, however, would open up a whole new range of potential dangers.

Kim reiterated that the aim of the military operation was to "interdict the enemy forces on major military bases on Guam and to signal a crucial warning to the U.S".

Trump kicked off his third day of aggressive posturing toward the hermit kingdom on Friday, tweeting that USA military solutions were "locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely" and encouraging despotic leader Kim Jong-un to "find another path". She says Germany would work to find diplomatic solutions with the countries involved, the USA and China in particular, but also South Korea.

Shooting down the North's missiles would hamper its ability to glean the flight data it needs.

Yun, now executive director of the Ploughshares Fund, an anti-proliferation initiative, said the risks were exacerbated by the "credibility problem" Trump has acquired due to his frequent off-the-cuff remarks that often appear to go counter to the more measured remarks of his officials. This will involved firing four Hwasong-12 missiles over Japan and into waters near the tiny U.S. island, officials claimed. "I think it will take more missile tests and more nuclear tests to have any confidence in such a design". But South Korean citizens - long accustomed to its neighbour's fearsome rhetoric - are staying remarkably calm as the crisis unfolds, it has been reported.

That proximity has long placed it in North Korea's crosshairs, but the escalating war of words has put this territory of 160,000 civilians on edge. On July 28, it conducted a second test of its long-range Hwasong-14 ICBM. Officials called them successes, but critics say they don't replicate actual conditions close enough to be a fair gauge.

The four PAC-3 systems are brought from eastern Japan, as its missile defense is largely centered around Tokyo.

"There are layers that are floating in the Pacific in terms of missile defense", he told CNN.

HARTZ: Well, and on the North Korean side, there are differences of specificity.

"It would be very hard to eliminate that threat before the artillery fire could create a lot of damage on the southern side", David Shear, who served as the senior USA defence official for east Asia under former president Barack Obama, told Reuters. Today, Naval Base Guam is the home port for four nuclear-powered fast attack submarines and two submarine tenders. Rival powers China and Russian Federation, meanwhile, might see the exposed weakness as an opportunity to push forward more assertive policies of their own.

Vanessa Coleman

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