US sends missiles to Guam
On Wednesday the United States announced that they will soon be sending a ballistic missile shield to the Pacific Island of Guam to defend it as North Korea threatens nuclear strikes.
The announcement came soon after Pyongyang, the largest city in North Korea, blocked access for the second day and shut down the last shared link with the South by refusing entry to almost 500 South Korean workers working in a cross-border industrial park.
In recent weeks North Korea has been issuing statements and threatening nuclear strikes and attacks on South Korea and specific targets in the US. The country has also made declarations of war on the South and pledged to reopen one of its old nuclear reactors in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.
However, in spite of North Korea’s highly publicised missile tests, little is known about the actual size and capabilities of its arsenal.
The Pentagon said North Korea may not be able to attack the US mainland as they might not have the technology to strike with either a nuclear weapon or a ballistic missile.
However, Guam and Hawaii are believed to be amongst a top list of possible targets as North Korea is capable of targeting US military bases in the region with its mid-range missiles such as the Nodong, a variant on the Scud missile.
Commenting on the North Korean statements, Chuck Hagel, the US defence secretary, said: “The US is taking the threats seriously as some of the actions North Korea has taken over the last few weeks presents a real and clear danger”.
It was later announced by a Pentagon spokesman: “the Pentagon will be deploying a Terminal High Altitude Area Defence system (THAAD), which includes a truck-mounted launcher, interceptor missiles, an AN/TPY-2 tracking radar and an integrated fire control system”.