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11 Agosto 2017, 11:55 | Crisanna Felipe
North Korea 'planning nuke strike on US territory ANY MOMENT'
Investors continued to react to President Trump's warning to North Korea on Tuesday about facing "fire and fury" if North Korea delivers more threats against the U.S.
North Korea will develop a plan by mid-August to launch four intermediate range missiles at the USA territory of Guam before presenting it to leader Kim Jong-un who will make a decision on whether to proceed, the North's state media said on Thursday.
The US State Department has announced a ban on all Americans from traveling to North Korea following the death of US college student Otto Warmbier who passed away in June 2017 after 17 months in North Korean captivity.
North Korea's military has reacted angrily by stating its preparedness to "contain" the U.S. bases on the Pacific island of Guam with missile strikes. "The DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people", he added.
The exercise began hours after Japan's defense minister said the Japanese military could shoot down North Korean intercontinental ballistic missiles before they reach the USA territory of Guam. Trump has said he will not allow Pyongyang to develop a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the US.
"My first order as President was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal".
It would send a very strong message but leave more room for de-escalation than a pre-emptive strike against military facilities or other targets on the ground.
"We are in a prime location for contingency purposes and this exercise will only build upon our readiness in the case a real-world scenario occurs".
About 6.22 billion shares changed hands on US stock exchanges, slightly above the 6.15 billion average for the last 20 sessions.
Last year, North Korea focused its provocative rhetoric on New York City, claiming it could "burn Manhattan down to ashes" after testing what it said was a hydrogen bomb. In 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.
If Pyongyang carries out its threatened show of force and launches missiles toward Guam, it would represent an unprecedented milestone in the already fraught relations between the United States and North Korea.
U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis also said Thursday that while the U.S. military was "ready" for a confrontation with North Korea, his preference is for a diplomatic solution.
Xinhua news agency, quoting the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), reported that the U.S. bombers were dispatched to stage mock nuclear bomb droppings on North Korean strategic targets.
Governor Eddie Calvo said Guam had experienced a Japanese invasion in World War Two and countless earthquakes and super-typhoons, and there was no US community better prepared to meet the North Korean threat.
Despite North Korea's threat against Guam this week, she says folks are keeping their cool.
The "Hwasong-12", a new type of ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea.
On Thursday, the three major USA indexes logged their worst performances since mid-May (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-set-up-for-another-day-of-losses-as-north-korean-tensions-simmer-2017-08-10) in a session dogged by geopolitical concerns. It's very possible the North could attack Japan and USA bases there with nuclear, chemical or biological warheads. There are Japan-U.S. plans to introduce next-generation Aegis missile defense systems, but even then, some point out, it would be hard to intercept long-range missiles.
"There had not been any discussions about escalating the rhetoric in response to Kim's statements or about the possible effects of doing that", the official said.
"On the North Korean side", he says, "there are differences of specificity".
Like other US territories, Guam has a sometimes complicated relationship with the USA mainland but many across the island say despite the threats and concerns they feel reassured and protected by the military - especially in times of tense, geopolitical sparring.
Retailer Office Depot Inc.(ODP), drug maker Mylan NV (MYL) and fast-food chain Wendy's Co.(WEN) are also likely to see active trading as they're among the companies expected to post earnings before the open.
North Korean state media said Trump is "bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him".
After the North Korean statement, Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo said: "Recent reports regarding North Korea's nuclear capabilities are deeply troubling, but I remain confident that Guam remains safe and protected".
But tour operators said their industry remains robust. But the Self-Defense Forces, the country's military, will "take necessary measures", he said. Protecting the island is the U.S. Army's Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, which is used to shoot down ballistic missiles.
Guam was claimed by Spain in 1565 and became a USA territory in 1898 during the Spanish-American War.
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Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc
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Global stocks fall on rising unease over North Korea
Note: U.S crude inventories last week fell by -7.8m barrels, more than expected, but gasoline inventories rose unexpectedly. Wilmar International slipped 6.4 per cent or 22 cents to $3.20; Hongkong Land lost 2.1 per cent or 16 USA cents to US$7.34.