South Korea's military says prepared to act immediately against North Korean provocation

South Korea's military says prepared to act immediately against North Korean provocation

Tourists walk through a shopping district in Tamuning, Guam - the nearest USA territory to North Korea. The plan could be sent to leader Kim Jong Un for approval within a week or so. Meanwhile, Russia, China and Germany voiced dismay at the escalating rhetoric from Pyongyang and Washington.

The tension comes on the heels of an intelligence report that suggested North Korea has miniaturized nuclear weapons to fit on missiles. "Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!"

The term "locked and loaded", popularized in the 1949 war film "Sands of Iwo Jima" starring American actor John Wayne, refers to preparations for shooting a gun.

"If he does anything in respect to Guam or any place else that is an American territory or an American ally, he will truly regret it and he will regret it fast".

Last month, Seoul offered Red Cross talks to discuss reunions for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, but the North has kept mum toward the proposal.

North Korea threatened to fire four intermediate-range missiles around the US territory of Guam, saying the missiles would pass over Japan before landing in waters 30 to 40 kilometers from the island. "The closer you get to that, you're stressing the performance of the system", he said.

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Two U.S. Air Force B-1B bombers, from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota were deployed to Guam Tuesday. South Korean government plans to inject 210 billion dollars into three programs: Kill Chain, Korea and Missile Defense and the Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation plan.

The unsettling document also instructs Guamanians to dispose of their clothes and wash heavily if they were outside during or after missiles hit the island, as this would help "remove radioactive material that may have settled on your body".

Pyongyang doubled down on its threats to launch missiles at Guam early on Thursday, announcing a potential plan on state media for the "simultaneous fire of four Hwasong-12 (rockets)".

In October 2006, an unofficial spokesman for North Korea in Japan told ABC Radio Australia that Guam, Japan and Hawaii were potential targets if the United Nations levied tougher sanctions against North Korea.

"Since 2006, when North Korea first conducted its nuclear test, there wasn't this much response as people became immune to frequent missile launches and nuclear tests", said Yoon Hee-yeul, the chief executive of Combat Ration, based in the southeastern city of Daegu.

Because Guam is a USA territory, the US military may launch forces from there without worrying about upsetting a host nation that may object to USA actions.

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Called Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, the exercises are expected to run from August 21-31 and involve tens of thousands of American and South Korean troops on the ground and in the sea and air.

The governor of the Northern Marianas Ralph Torres says he has "full faith and trust" in US President Donald Trump to protect America's Pacific territories from North Korean attack. Hundreds of thousands of troops and huge arsenals are arrayed on both sides of the tense demilitarized zone between the two Koreas.

The United States and its allies have two primary missile defense options to intercept a missile between North Korea and Guam. That triggered fresh selling in global financial markets. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.93 percent, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index declining 2.13 percent.

"I'm constantly watching to see what the updates are", she said.

"Kim Jong Un's reckless behavior can not be tolerated", she said, "and I strongly urge the president to explore every avenue to peacefully respond to it and avoid further escalating this situation".

There were no changes as of Friday morning in the USA military status in the continental United States or in the Pacific military command readiness or alert status, US officials said.

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