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Friday 22.09.2017 | Name days: Maigurs, Mārica, Māris

N-Korea: war can any time; US moves missile defences to Guam

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The US has announced it is taking North Korea’s threats as “real and clear danger”, so it is moving a missile defence system to the Pacific island of Guam.

A statement from Pyongyang said its military had been given final approval to launch a nuclear strike. It warned war could break out on the Korean peninsula as early as “today or tomorrow”. North Korea has threatened to target the US and South Korea in recent weeks.

The missile system is being moved to Guam as a “precautionary move to strengthen our regional defence posture against the North Korean regional ballistic missile threat. The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and stands ready to defend US territory, our allies, and our national interests,” according to the Pentagon.

The US had already planned to send a Thaad system to Guam, but not under these circumstances, analysts say. Riki Ellison, chairman of the Missile Defense Advocacy Group, told the BBC that the Pentagon’s decision to speed up the transfer underlines how seriously Washington is taking Pyongyang’s threats, but it should be viewed as a purely defensive move, not an escalation, reports BBC.

As reported earlier, North Korea has come up with yet another move escalating tension, this time the reclusive state is blocking the entry of South Korean workers into a joint industrial zone, according to Seoul’s Unification Ministry.

The Kaesong zone, which is a money-maker for the North, is seen as a key barometer of inter-Korean relations. The joint industrial park is home to more than 100 factories. More than 50,000 North Koreans work there, as well as several hundred South Korean managers who request permission on a daily basis to cross into the zone, BBC wrote.

This is considered as yet another provocation from the part of North Korea, whose latest activities have been branded as “dangerous” and “reckless” by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

“Let me be perfectly clear here today. The United States will defend and protect ourselves and our treaty ally, the Republic of Korea (South Korea),” he said late on Tuesday.

As reported, North Korea “crisis has gone too far”, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said after Pyongyang announced plans to restart its main Yongbyon nuclear complex.

“Things must begin to calm down, there is no need for the DPRK [North Korea] to be on a collision course with the international community. Nuclear threats are not a game,” he said.

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