11 Aug 17. Japan deploys Patriot interceptors as North Korea alarms global leaders. Japan has started deploying land-based Patriot interceptors after North Korea threatened to send ballistic missiles flying over western Japan and landing near Guam.
The Japanese Defense Ministry said Friday the Patriot Advanced Capability-3, or PAC-3, surface-to-air interceptors are being deployed at four locations: Hiroshima, Kochi, Shimane and Ehime.
The deployment is largely aimed at responding to the risk of falling fragments while missiles fly over the region.
The four PAC-3 systems are brought from eastern Japan, as its missile defense is largely centered around Tokyo. They are expected to arrive in the designated sites early Saturday.
The ministry did not confirm whether Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera has already issued an order to shoot down incoming missiles.
Meanwhile, American and South Korean officials said they would move forward with large-scale military exercises later this month that North Korea claims are a rehearsal for war.
An escalating exchange of provocative rhetoric between the United States and North Korea is alarming international leaders. Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, estimated the risk of a military conflict between the U.S. and North Korea as “very high,” and said Moscow is deeply concerned.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel declined to say whether Germany would stand with the U.S. in case of a military conflict with North Korea. She called on the U.N. Security Council to continue to address the issue.
U.S. President Donald Trump said this week the U.S. would unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea if it continued to threaten the country. (Source: Defense News)
11 Aug 17. After years, South Koreans worry about North – food sales up, civil drills expanded. South Koreans are buying more gold and ready to eat meals, while the government plans to expand nation-wide civil defence drills planned for this month as rhetoric between North Korea and the United States ramps up tension.
Long used to living within the range of North Korea’s artillery, people in the South have generally ignored its aggressiveness and series of nuclear and long-range missile tests.
But this week, as Pyongyang exchanged increasingly angry words with the United States, there are worries of a clash erupting along the heavily militarised frontier which divides the two Koreas.
Combat Ration Inc, which makes 2bn won ($1.75m) of annual revenue selling ready to eat meals, said sales had surged as much as 50 percent in the past week compared to the average.
“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.
“I feel it’s different this time,” said Yoon, who’s been in the business since 2004.
Ready to eat meals maker Babmart, based in eastern Seoul, and another Seoul-based online seller, jun2food.com, also said sales have increased. Officials at both companies attributed the surge to the heightened tension.
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.
U.S. President Donald Trump said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was not going to get away with his “horrific” comments and disrespecting America.
“Koreans used to be numb to North Korea’s threats, however, it seems different this time, and people are taking it seriously,” said Song Jong-gil, an official of Korea Gold Exchange 3M, where sales of mini gold bars have surged five-fold since Aug. 9.
After Trump’s “fire and fury” threat heightened tension, average daily sales volume has been 250 bars, ranging in weight between 10 grams (0.35 oz) and 100 grams (3.5 oz), versus about 50 earlier, Song said, adding the trend would continue through A