The Yomiuri ShimbunDefense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Thursday that if North Korea fires missiles near the USA territory of Guam where the United States has military bases, the action could constitute a "survival-threatening situation" enabling Japan to exercise its right of collective self-defense. But it is not created to hit them as they climb into space.
In an MSNBC segment on the threat to Guam, NBC reporter Miguel Almaguer noted from Tamuning that while the governor gave those words of reassurance, the island's Homeland Security department issued a "stern warning for those who life here to be prepared in the event of a ballistic missile attack".
But the trajectory of a Hwasong-12 aimed toward Guam could put the midcourse portion of its flight too far past the Sea of Japan, where the country's ships carrying SM-3s are usually stationed. The Aegis destroyers might actually have a better shot than the Patriot missiles, but only by sailing dangerously close to North Korean waters.
America's existing system to stop intercontinental ballistic missiles aimed at the continental United States is called Ground-Based Midcourse Defense. So far, the system has a flawless 14-out-of-14 record in tests since 2005.
Sullivan was hesitant to directly criticize the president for his somewhat brash remarks on North Korea, but made it clear in an interview that he felt it was not the ideal way forward.
The SM-3 can intercept a ballistic missile at this point.
"What is the likelihood of us getting into nuclear war?" It's unclear whether Japan would reposition any of its warships to defend the area around Guam.
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Guam is home to a U.S. air base, a Navy installation, a Coast Guard group and roughly 6,000 United States military personnel. Finally, the air base may be defended by older, shorter-range Patriot missile batteries, the most advanced of which - the Patriot PAC-3 - can also shoot down slower ballistic missiles. It has been compared to hitting a bullet with a bullet, and even just testing such systems can be expensive.
Based on what the analysts know about the North Korean rocket, they estimated that in order for the missiles to reach Seattle while carrying a nuclear bomb, the payload would have to weigh 300 kilograms, and in order to reach Anchorage, the bomb would have to weigh less than 500 to 550 kilograms.
As tensions between the United States and North Korea continue to escalate, a southern IL woman worries about her family on the U.S. Island territory of Guam.
The system is useful against conventional weapons.
On the other hand, if they try to intercept the missiles but fail, it could undermine the credibility of both countries' assurances that their antimissile systems can work.
"They've been very focused on trying to bring in the Congress, the Senate", he said, noting a briefing several months ago of the full Senate on the administration's North Korea strategy.