CNMI governor backs Trump's stance on North Korea


The situation on the Korean Peninsula has become aggravated in recent months due to a series of missile launches and nuclear tests conducted by Pyongyang in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

He told CNN that while there was some fear, people were used to living with North Korean posturing.

But North Korea mentioned a specific missile, the Hwasong-12, that it's only tested once, and an expert contacted by Business Insider says hitting the USA military in Guam would be easier said than done.

Asked how Moscow would act in case of a military conflict between the USA and the North, Lavrov answered it would do everything it could to prevent the worst-case scenario.

The exchange of threats has alarmed the tiny island, which is home to about 160,000 people, about 40 percent of whom are Filipinos, according to Norman Analista, president of the Filipino Community of Guam. In the spring of 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. Gov. Eddie Calvo said the US territory does not face a heightened threat and is "safe and sound".

South Korean analyst Lee Sang Hyun from the Sejong Institute think-tank told The Straits Times that both the U.S. and North Korea are issuing "maximum threats" to each other, a situation that can continue for weeks, or even months. China is the North's biggest economic partner and source of aid, but says it alone can't compel Pyongyang to end its nuclear and missile programs.

"If it's going to happen it's going to happen", Loiue Joyce, a woman in her mid-20s, said of the North Korean threat, as she enjoyed a day of shopping. Later, Defense Secretary James Mattis warned North Korea in a statement it would lose any conflict it initiates.

However, as customers sip on their coffee and grab lunch, Kim Jong Un's threat is what many are talking about. It is important that the US does not push North Korea into a dead end so they feel they are left with no options.

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North Korea said on Thursday its army would complete plans in mid-August to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan to land near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

As it is, the USA has a robust military presence in the region, including six B-1 bombers in Guam and Air Force fighter jet units in South Korea, plus other assets across the Pacific Ocean and in the skies above. Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, estimated the risk of a military conflict between the USA and North Korea as "very high", and said Moscow is deeply concerned.

Even though missiles from the North would nearly certainly carry dummy warheads, analysts said, a failure to intercept them would deal Mr. Trump a mortifying setback and could even weaken the rationale for installing an American missile defense system in South Korea. On Thursday, KPASF commander General Kim Rak-gyom said "sound dialog" with Trump "is not possible ... and only absolute force can work on him".

"North Korea's most recent threat to target Guam is risky and it further heightens tensions in our region", Bordallo said.

"They're now telegraphing their punch, which means they don't want to have any misunderstandings".

"I think it probably failed fairly late in the process", said John Schilling, a consultant with 38 North, a respected website on North Korea at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies.

Meanwhile, Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said Pyongyang's actions were "provocative to the region including Japan as well as to the security of the worldwide community".

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. Previously Japan's position was only to shoot down missiles headed for its own territory.