Faced with North Korean threats to launch medium-range ballistic missiles over Japanese airspace and toward Guam in coming days, Japan is scrambling to move four Patriot missile defense batteries to its western shores, defense officials in Tokyo announced Friday.
North Korean state media reported on Thursday plans for the strike would be ready by mid-August and will await the orders of the "commander-in-chief of the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) nuclear force", understood to be Kim Jong Un.
Though they are marketed as "DMZ Concerts", they are obviously not held within the demilitarised zone, but at a tourist spot called Nuri Peace Park in the South Korean city of Paju, north of Seoul.
In response to the threat, Japan said that it could intercept North Korean missiles if they are judged an existential threat to Japan. People familiar with the contacts say the interactions have done nothing thus far to quell tensions over North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile advances, which are now fueling fears of military confrontation. As president, he ordered an assessment of the environmental impact of the THAAD system, which effectively delayed its deployment.
Concerns are particularly high in Seoul, a city of 10 million people just 50km from the highly fortified border.
Missile defence is an attractive but tricky strategy in dealing with missile threats.
"The way our infrastructure is built - an 8.3 earthquake a decade ago, powerful typhoons - they are well-equipped to coordinate both pre-event and also post-event", he said. But they say the behind-the-scenes discussions could still be a foundation for more serious negotiation. "I don't see North Korea's story having any impact on tourism at this point".
On Thursday, the government gave up its plan to conduct an environmental survey of the site for the THAAD battery in Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province.
Trump also said new sanctions on North Korea approved by the U.N. Security Council on Aug. 5 that could slash by a third the country's $3 billion annual export revenue probably would not be as effective as hoped.
All the latest developments show that the confrontation between the US and North Korea is raising tension to the highest level in recent years.
US president Donald Trump has said that perhaps his "fire and fury" warning to North Korea "wasn't tough enough".
The relationship between America and North Korea has long been a turbulent one.
Guam Governor Eddie Calvo said the remote Pacific island was accustomed to being a target ever since Washington placed military installations there.
The velocities needed for those numbers mean that by the time the missile has been in the air one minute, it is already travelling several times the speed of sound. One local newspaper, the Guam Daily Post, was even keen on convincing the hoard of visiting journalists to stick around for a "beachside barbecue".
But life here seems to go on as usual. He invited the North to participate in next year's Winter Olympics, which South Korea is hosting. U.S. defense spending is the main economic driver of the island, making up about 40 percent of its gross domestic product, followed by tourism. That base and a U.S. naval base are home to about 13,000 American military personnel.