Japan could legally intercept a North Korean missile headed towards Guam, its defense minister said on Thursday, but experts believe Japan does not now have the capability to do so.
Stocks moved lower in morning trading Wednesday as traders weighed the growing tensions between the United States and North Korea.
Adam Mount, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, told CNN the US military could use its THAAD defense system or Aegis destroyers to stop any North Korean projectiles.
South Korea has said the bilateral talks will strictly discuss bilateral and humanitarian issues, such as easing the military tension between the divided Koreas along their demarcation line and holding reunions of families here separated since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.
Why is Guam strategic to the United States?
Guam is also near another US territory, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marina Islands. Everyone born on the island is an American citizen.
The U.S. took control of Guam in 1898, when Spanish authorities surrendered to the U.S. Navy.
"We always maintain a high state of readiness and have the capabilities to counter any threat, to include those from North Korea", Lt. Col. Christopher Logan, a Pentagon spokesman, told Business Insider.
Its proximity to China, Japan, the Philippines and the Korean Peninsula has long made the island an essential position for the US military. President William McKinley ordered Guam to be ruled by the U.S. Navy.
Guam is an island in the western Pacific Ocean. But residents are increasingly anxious over Washington's escalating war of words with North Korea.
Why is it important as far as the US military is concerned?
ASIA'S DAY: The earlier Asian session was heavily influenced by the sabre-rattling between the US and North Korea.
After taking off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, the B-1s assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, flew to Japanese airspace, where they were joined by Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self Defense Force) F-2 fighter jets.
There are 2,334 active duty service members on the base.
The majority of islanders are ethnically Chamorro - the indigenous group that has lived on the island for thousands of years - and their culture is a touchstone for the islander's way of life.
MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany's DAX was down 1 percent, while France's CAC 40 fell 1.4 percent.
The tweets did little to soothe concerns that Trump was helping push the standoff with North Korea into uncharted and even more unsafe territory. She noted that similar threats in 2013 led to an advanced missile defense system - known as THAAD, for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense - to be permanently placed on the island as a deterrent.
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