Friday, 18 August, 2017

Alaska lawmakers concerned about possible North Korean strike

People look toward a North Korean village through a pair of binoculars at an observation post in Paju REUTERS
Kenny Thornton | 12 August, 2017, 07:09

What is happening with North Korea is not analogous to what happened in 1962, except for the word crisis.

The US military has a massive presence in Japan, rooted in the end of World War II, with a total of about 50,000 troops in the country.

In response to the threat, Japan said that it could intercept North Korean missiles if they are judged an existential threat to Japan.

But Bruce Bennett, a senior defense analyst at the Rand Corporation, told CNN it would ultimately be US President Donald Trump's decision whether to test their missile defenses.

The American forces are closely intertwined with their South Korean partners and the two militaries routinely conduct joint drills - the next of which are slated for later this month.

The Pentagon now has 28,500 troops from the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy stationed in the South.

Japan's has deployed Aegis-equipped destroyers with SM-3 interceptors, along with the surface-to-air Patriot Advanced Capability-3, or PAC3 system.

Australian leader says gay marriage could be law this year
The government will announce the result of the plebiscite and whether the issue will be voted on in parliament by November 15. Parliament would vote on legislation before December 7, but only if the plebiscite shows most Australians want gay marriage.

Japan has in the past vowed to shoot down North Korean missiles or rockets that threaten to hit its territory, though Suga declined to disclose details about its strategy this time. "And we should be prepared too".

The Pentagon also recently deployed a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system to South Korea that is capable of intercepting medium-range ballistic missiles.

But Mistry said the focus should now be on getting out of the shouting match.

"I don't believe that there will be any significant altering of East Asian procurement strategies, despite the rhetoric emanating from North Korea, principally because for them the threat hasn't altered drastically", Reed added. "But if the North were to act, the US would have to deploy far more to the peninsula and the region as quickly as possible".

The United States withdrew nuclear weapons from South Korea in 1992, when the two Koreas agreed to make the peninsula nuclear free.

Mattis pointed to last weekend's unanimous vote by the U.N. Security Council to impose new sanctions on North Korea as a sign of robust diplomatic activity.

For now, officials are instead focused on changing the missile guidelines, which allow Seoul to have ballistic missiles with a flight range capped at 800 km (497 miles), topped with a maximum 500 kg (1,102 pounds) warhead.

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