Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

North Korea SLBMs prompt South to consider nuclear subs

North Korea SLBMs prompt South to consider nuclear subs

In an editorial on Saturday, North Korea's Minju Joson newspaper said that the US "finds itself in an ever worsening dilemma, being thrown into the grip of extreme security unrest by the DPRK". And if North Korea's missiles prove no match for USA interceptors, Kim Jong Un might be chastened into thinking twice before conducting any more.

The five-minute drill begins with a siren on radio, and cars are stopped at designated spots. The annual exercises, called Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, are expected to run from August 21 to 31. "Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!" One is if they continue trying to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile "with a nuclear weapon on top" that is capable of striking America, the South Carolina Republican told CBS News Wednesday.

The heightened military activity on the peninsula this time is a concern because it could increase the possibility of a mishap or an overreaction of some sort by either side that could spin into a more serious escalation.

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.

Guam, an unincorporated US territory, is a strategic outpost about 2,100 miles south-east of Pyongyang. North Korea has been increasingly sensitive to the exercises lately because they reportedly include training for "decapitation strikes" to kill Kim Jong Un and his top lieutenants.

Altogether, 7,000 USA military personnel are stationed on Guam.

The possibility of escalation is made even more acute by the lack of any means of official communication across the Demilitarized Zone, though there has been no easing of the barrage of inflammatory comments in the USA and the North since new sanctions against North Korea were announced last week.

The president insisted the North had been "getting away with a tragedy that can't be allowed".

DPRK stands for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Pyongyang stepped up its bellicose rhetoric this week, threatening to target waters off Guam with intermediate range missiles.

North Korea said its military would finalize the plan by mid-August, then wait for Kim's order.

Recent days have seen a significant escalation of tensions in the region as preparations are put in place for a possible launch in Guam, Japan and South Korea.

"Sim Tack, a senior analyst for private intelligence firm Stratfor, said the Japanese batteries are designed for protecting the area where they are deployed, "(they are) not meant to shoot missiles out of the sky as they pass over Japan at high altitude".

"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 Mr Yoon Hee Yeul, the chief executive of Combat Ration, based in the south-eastern city of Daegu.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel described escalation as "the wrong answer", while Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Trump's statements were "very worrying".

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