Friday, May 05, 2017


China’s Xi Jinping called for restraint during an overnight call about North Korea with President Donald Trump, which came as Japan conducted joint drills with a US aircraft carrier strike group headed for the region. The vessels of the two countries began joint exercises Sunday in the Western Pacific. The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier was rerouted toward North Korea earlier this month, after initial confusion over its strike group’s deployment – including a statement by President Trump that he was sending “an armada” to the Korean Peninsula. JS Samidare and JS Ashigara, two destroyers, joined the exercise with the USA carrier group.
The U.S. Navy says the joint exercises are routine, created to improve combined maritime response and defense capabilities, as well as joint maneuvering proficiency.
South Korea says key parts of a contentious US missile defense system have been installed a day after rival North Korea showed off its military power.

Editorial: We’ll exercise our right to self-determination

April 28, 2017 by Ryukyu Shimpo
The San Francisco Peace Treaty took effect on April 28, 1952, when Japan gained its independence, and when Okinawa, along with Amami and Ogasawara, were split from Japan.
In Article 3 of the Peace Treaty, the United States, with Japan’s consent and without intervention from any other country, gave themselves the ability to have free use of military bases. The U.S., ignoring the basic human rights of Okinawan citizens came with “bayonets and bulldozers,” taking away farmland and building the largest military bases in all of East Asia. Without a doubt, for Okinawa this is a, “Day of Shame.”
Okinawa recognizes April 28 as the, “Day of Humiliation,” demanding the restoration of their right to self-determination.

3,000 take part in protest rally in Henoko for first time since start of sea wall construction, refusing to bow to government pressure

April 30, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo
On the morning of April 29, in front of the gate of Camp Schwab in Henoko, Nago City, a mass rally was held to block construction of new U.S. base. At the rally, participants called for the repeal of the so-called “anti-conspiracy bill” and urged people not to forget the “4.28 Day of Humiliation”.
It became the first large-scale gathering after the Okinawa Defense Bureau began sea wall construction to reclaim sea off the coast of Camp Schwab on April 25.
An executive committee consisting of the Okinawa Peace Movement Center and the prefectural assembly’s ruling parties organized the rally.
According to the organizer, about 3,000 people took part in the rally. The participants raised their voices in protest against construction carried out forcefully by the central government and called for the construction of the new U.S. base in Henoko to be blocked. The new base is part of a project to relocate the U.S. Futenma airfield in Ginowan.

One year after the rape and murder of a woman by a U.S. military contractor, wounds of the victim’s family have yet to heal

April 28, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo
We interviewed attorney Naoko Murakami, who represents the family of the deceased in the case of rape and murder of a woman by a U.S. military contractor, which occurred one year ago.
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 ― How are the family doing now?
“From the perspective of the family, no progress has been made at all. Pretrial arrangement procedures have begun, but there is still no knowing when the trial will start or when a verdict will be made. The case remains unsolved and there has been no compensation. The family feels great loss and their wounds are not healed. They have suffered tremendous psychological damage, making it hard to work, so their income has taken a hit.”
 ― The defendant has made comments that were hurtful to the family.

U.S. strategic B-1B bombers conduct joint military drills near North Korea and Pyongyang warns of nuclear war

Two U.S. strategic bombers penetrated the airspace over the Korean Peninsula on Monday to conduct joint drills with the air forces of Japan and South Korea, according to media reports.
A pair of supersonic B-1B Lancer bombers departed from the Andersen Air Force base in Guam. The military drills near North Korea were long-planned, but kept quiet by U.S. officials to avoid increasing political tensions in the region, CNN reported.
“These flights demonstrate the solidarity between South Korea, the United States, and Japan to defend against North Korea’s provocative and destabilizing actions,” Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, told Reuters.
The drills over the Korean Peninsula did not go unnoticed by Pyongyang. The North Korean government called the military training “an impressive act of military provocation again” on its state-run news network, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), according to Korea Times. 

Pacific News Minute: FMR Japanese Defense Minister Calls To Upgrade Military Capabilities

According to Reuters, the U.S. Military’s controversial anti-missile system has reached initial operating capacity in South Korea. The news agency quotes U.S. officials as cautioning that it will still be months before THAAD is fully operational – the acronym stands for Theater High Altitude Area Defense. And, as we hear from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute, there is growing sentiment to install the system in Japan. 
Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada toured the THAAD Battery on Guam in January, before this most recent crisis with North Korea and some of her predecessors say that Japan needs to upgrade both defensive and offensive capabilities. At a news conference in Tokyo last week, Former Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera noted that it would take just ten minutes for a North Korean Missile to reach Japan. North Korea recently launched four at the same time, in what it said was a test of its ability to attack Japan. Onodera said it would be hours before American bombers based in Japan and Guam could respond, and that Japan needed the capability to counter strike quickly on its own.

US Navy warships team up with South Koreans in Pacific steaming towards confrontation with Kim Jong-un

This is the moment US Navy warships teamed up with their South Korean counterparts in the Pacific to steam towards a confrontation with Kim Jong-un.
This video footage was released tonight just hours after North Korea vowed to put US military bases in Japan "under radioactive clouds" if war breaks out.
South Korea revealed last month that it was in talks with Washington about holding joint drills with the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group as it approaches waters off the Korean peninsula.
There have been growing fears that maniac leader Kim Jong-un could conduct another nuclear test in the region 'any day'.

Fighter Jets Fly Over US and South Korean Ships in Western Pacific

North Korea’s state media condemned a US military exercise in the Western Pacific Ocean involving F/A-18 Hornet combat jets taking off from a US aircraft carrier on May 3.
This US Navy video shows the fighter jets flying over American and South Korean ships in the Sea of Japan.
The USS Carl Vinson arrived in the region on April 28 and held joint drills with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. A US missile defense system, THAAD, also became operational in South Korea following missile launches in North Korea.

Military sexual assaults down as reports reach record high

Sexual assault in the U.S. military has fallen, according to a Pentagon report released on Monday, even though the number of incidents reported by service members hit a record high in 2016.
Service members reported 6,172 cases of sexual assault compared with 6,082 last year, the U.S. Department of Defense said in the annual report. This was a sharp jump from 2012 when 3,604 cases were reported.
An anonymous survey found that 14,900 service members experienced some kind of sexual assault in 2016, from groping to rape, down from 20,300 in 2014, the report showed. The survey portion is conducted every two years.

US military investigations reveal 45 civilians died in coalition strikes

The Pentagon said Sunday that the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq and Syria killed 45 civilians in airstrikes between November and early March of this year.
The new findings resulted from investigations into nine airstrikes that were part of the broader campaign against the Islamic State. The figures did not include results from an ongoing investigation into a March 17 attack in Mosul that local residents said killed scores of innocent people.
The Pentagon also said that a review of airstrikes dating back to August 2014 found that the U.S. military and its coalition partners were responsible for an additional 80 civilian deaths that had not been announced.

Speaker warns of budget shortfall

The historic war claims act introduced by Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo as part of last year's defense spending bill will lead to an executive budget shortfall and complicate efforts by Gov. Eddie Calvo to pay off tax refunds sooner, according to Speaker Benjamin Cruz.
The Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act, tucked into the fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, sets the framework for administering reparations for the island's World War II survivors and heirs of the victims who were killed. The law identifies Section 30 funding that's in excess of 2014 levels, as a source of war reparations payments.
Section 30 money – essentially federal income tax payments from military personnel stationed in Guam, immigration fees and miscellaneous duties – is already used as a regular funding source for GovGuam obligations, such as tax refunds and other debt.

Op-Ed: Guam and 100 days of Trump

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The traditional 100-day mark by which new presidents are judged was reached last weekend. It is Donald Trump's turn to be judged by his record rather than just his tweets. For Trump, it has largely been 100 days of chaos and failures, and for Guam these have been 100 days of unfulfilled campaign promises, frustration and ominous signs for the future of our island and our region.

Analysis - Is Japan moving to revise its pacifist constitution?

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Japan's explicitly pacifist constitution turns 70 on Wednesday. Ahead of the big birthday, a mail-in survey was conducted as to whether the Japanese population wants the constitution revised – and it seems about half the country does.
The Japanese population slightly favors a revision to Article 9, the section of the constitution that renounces war. Some 49 percent of respondents believe Article 9 must be changed, while 47 percent say it shouldn't be touched. But most do not want it changed now, with 51 percent saying they are against constitutional amendments under Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who then called for his country to make a historic revision to the document on Monday.

Arrival of US bombers known through N. Korea

By Yi Whan-woo

North Korean state media said Tuesday two U.S. B-1B Lancer strategic bombers conducted a nuclear bombing drill in South Korea, Monday.

The South Korean military confirmed the arrival of the U.S. planes hours after the North Korean report, adding to concerns over a possible preemptive strike by Washington against Pyongyang and the possible outbreak of war on the Korean Peninsula.

According to Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the B-1B bombers performed a drill for a nuclear attack after departing from the U.S. military base in Guam.

Japan sends biggest warship to the Pacific as North Korea bolsters nuclear force 'to the maximum'

Japan has dispatched its biggest warship to protect a US military vessel in the Pacific Ocean for the first time in modern history following the enactment of a controversial new security law.
The Izumo, Japan's biggest warship since World War Two, left Yokosuka port in Kanagawa prefecture on Monday with the reported task of protecting a US supply ship within Japanese waters.

The Real Significance of the US Carrier Group Fiasco

The USS Carl Vinson, one of ten American 100,000-ton nuclear-powered supercarriers, was a regular feature of international headlines last month—and for all the wrong reasons. It was the source of an embarrassing, if overhyped, mishap when the Donald J. Trump administration announced on April 8 the carrier was being ordered to the Korean peninsula amid a bout of escalating tensions with Pyongyang. You can imagine the uproar when the Carl Vinson was spotted sailing away from the Korean Peninsula more than a week later.

US looks at sanctions, military action to counter North Korea

The U.S. is considering a range of options, from expanded economic sanctions to military operations, as it reaches out to allies in confronting North Korea's latest provocations, according to a senior Trump administration official.

 North Korea's ballistic missile test early Saturday was in "open defiance" of the international community, and the risk to the U.S. will not be tolerated, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said Sunday. "We do have to do something" with partners in the region and globally "that involves enforcement of the UN sanctions that are in place," McMaster said on the "Fox News Sunday" program. "It may mean ratcheting up those sanctions even further. And it also means being prepared for military operations, if necessary."

 North Korea's latest missile test came hours after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson mounted an effort at the United Nations on Friday to rally pressure against Kim Jong Un's regime. Trump has stepped up pressure to prevent Kim from obtaining the capability to hit North America with a nuclear weapon, and he's threatened to act unilaterally if China fails to do more to curb its neighbor's activities.

Monday, May 01, 2017

100s march in Tokyo against US military presence, mark Okinawa murder

Hundreds of Japanese protesters have staged a rally in Tokyo against the US military presence in their country, as they mark the first anniversary of the murder of a local woman by a US Marine.

Protesters marched on the streets of the Japanese capital on Saturday, calling for the removal of US military bases from the island prefecture of Okinawa.
The demonstration also marked the murder of Rina Shimabukuro by a US Marine in Okinawa in April 2016, when the 20-year-old victim, who worked at the base, was raped, struck in the head, and stabbed on her way back home.
US Marine Kenneth Franklin Gadson, 32, later admitted to the murder. The case triggered mass protests across Japan.


“US Pacific Command detected what we assess was a North Korean missile launch at 10:33 am Hawaii time”.
Amid the increased tensions, two Japanese destroyers began a joint drill Sunday with a group of US warships, including the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, in the Western Pacific Ocean.
The North test-fired the same missile earlier this month in a launch that USA officials said also was a failure.
Trump tells Reuters he will either renegotiate or terminate what he calls a “horrible” free trade deal with South Korea and says Seoul should pay for a USA anti-missile system he prices at $1 billion.

North Korea missile fears in Japan: 'Whatever will be, will be'

By MARI YAMAGUCHI | Associated Press | Published: May 1, 2017
FUSSA, Japan — Residents living near U.S. military bases in Japan are facing a fresh reality: Their neighborhoods are on the frontline of North Korea's dispute with America and if Pyongyang were to attack they would have just minutes to shelter from incoming missiles.
"It's impossible. There is no way we can run away from it," said Seijiro Kurosawa, a 58-year-old taxi driver in Fussa, near Yokota Air Base. "We don't have bunkers, shelters or anything like that."
His company recently instructed drivers to park their cabs and take immediate refuge in the event of an attack, but he isn't sure where he could go. "All we can do is run into a department store perhaps," he said.

New Chinese Aircraft Carrier Potential Game Changer in Asia-Pacific

Following the launch of the Chinese Type 001 aircraft carrier, the question arises whether it marks the shift in the balance of power in the Asia-Pacific region. Although in the near future the US and China are likely to maintain the established status quo in the region, in the long run the situation may change, observers assume.

Beijing's launch of the Type 001A aircraft carrier from the Dalian shipyard of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corp. has become a national event. Meanwhile, observers wonder whether or not the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is going to shift the balance of power in the Asia-Pacific region.
"The Chinese fleet is the second to that of the US, in some respects, it is comparable to the Japanese one and surpasses all other fleets [in the region]," Andrei Frolov, Russian military expert and editor-in-chief of Arms Export, told Russian online newspaper Vzglyad.
He believes that the Chinese fleet surpasses even the Russian Pacific Fleet, "maybe with the exception of the submarine component."

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Father of slain Okinawa woman calls for removal of U.S. military bases

URUMA, Okinawa -- The father of a murdered woman whose killing a year ago led to the arrest of a former U.S. Marine has released a message calling for the removal of U.S. military bases from the island prefecture. 
April 28 marked one year since the murder of the 20-year-old woman, who had lived in Uruma. "It's been a year since the incident, but nothing has changed regarding my thoughts for my daughter," the father, whose name is being withheld, said in his message released to the media through an attorney on April 27.
Referring to heinous crimes committed by U.S. military personnel in the prefecture, he wrote, "Those incidents occur because Okinawa hosts U.S. military bases. I want the bases to be removed without further delay, which is the wish of many Okinawa residents as well."
He continued, "Every day I put my hands together thinking about my daughter and pray for the repose of her soul. What we want to tell our daughter now is that we are sorry for the pain and suffering she went through, but that we want her to rest in peace now."

Mass protest decries start of U.S. base work off Okinawa

NAGO, Okinawa Prefecture--Thousands of protesters opposing the relocation of a U.S. military base here rallied on April 29 in their first mass demonstration after the government began offshore land reclamation work earlier in the week.
An estimated 3,000 demonstrators chanted their opposition in front of a gate of the U.S. military's Camp Schwab, near where the base project is under way to transfer the functions of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan, also in the prefecture.
The demonstration comes after the government started reclamation work off the Henoko district of Nago on April 25.

Hundreds protest US base construction in Japan, year after woman killed by US marine

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Tokyo to pay tribute to the memory of a young Japanese woman killed by a US marine a year ago and to protest the relocation of the US base in Okinawa. A separate rally was held in Okinawa prefecture.
The demonstrators in Tokyo marched through the streets holding banners including ones reading, “No base in Okinawa!” The father of the murdered woman also issued a message calling for the removal of the US military bases from the island prefecture, local media report
"Those incidents occur because Okinawa hosts US military bases. I want the bases to be removed without further delay, which is the wish of many Okinawa residents as well," the man said in his statement.
"I have nothing to say to the defendant. We, the bereaved family, can never forgive him. We tolerate or trust no excuses from him,” he added. At the same time, he expressed his gratitude to all those people who expressed their support and sympathy to his family.

Calvo to military: Not at the expense of Guam’s civilian economy

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There are three sectors of an economy: primary, which deals with extraction of raw materials; secondary, which is the manufacturing of raw materials into the finished product; and the tertiary sector that deals with intangible goods and services.
Since we do not mine raw materials, nor do we manufacture raw materials into products to export, Guam’s economy is largely dependent on the tertiary sector, which includes retail, tourism, banking, entertainment, and IT services. These are the factors that drive Guam’s economy.

US military is hammering ISIS so heavily it is running out of bombs

As Donald Trump celebrated his 100 days in power yesterday, US Pacific commander Admiral Harry Harris said so many bombs were being dropped that “we need more”. 
It comes as dictator Kim Jong-un defied international pressure to test-fire another missile yesterday, just hours after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned that failure to curb his nuclear and ballistic missile programmes could lead to “catastrophic consequences”. 
While the US is pushing for harsher sanctions against the police state,  warned a “major, major conflict” was possible as tensions mount. 
If he sanctions a regime change, however, it would mean a large-scale war in which the US and South Korea would “throw everything it had”, experts warned last night.

Washington seeks alliances to press imperialist interests in Pacific, Asia

As one of Washington’s nuclear submarines docked in Busan, South Korea, April 25, and the U.S. naval force led by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson nears Korean waters, the U.S. rulers continue to seek allies to pressure the leaders of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to back off from further nuclear or long-range missile tests. President Donald Trump seeks collaboration with the rulers in Beijing to press Pyongyang and is promoting further United Nations sanctions aimed at punishing working people in North Korea.
Washington’s threats and military maneuvers are not aimed at launching a new war on the Korean Peninsula — though, intended or not, they could precipitate one. They are part of decades of efforts by both Democratic and Republican administrations to come up with a solution that would force North Korea to back down.

Asia-Pacific conference in Philippines calls for end to US gov’t policies targeting Cuban Revolution

MANILA, Philippines — “There is a common misconception that, because the United States and Cuba have re-established diplomatic relations, the U.S. economic blockade against Cuba has ended. But it’s still in place,” said Ibete Fernández, Cuba’s ambassador to the Philippines. She was addressing participants in the Eighth Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of Solidarity with Cuba, held here April 8-9.
The 120 delegates from 19 countries discussed how to advance the international campaign demanding that the U.S. government end its economic war and subversive programs against the Cuban Revolution and get out of Guantánamo, Cuban territory occupied by the U.S. military for more than a century.
Later during the conference, Fernández spoke to the victory won in 2014 when Washington freed the remaining three of the five Cuban revolutionaries who had spent up to 16 years in U.S. prisons because of their actions to protect Cuba from violent attacks by U.S.-based counterrevolutionaries.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

EDITORIAL: Heavy-handed Tokyo again disregards Okinawa voices

The government on April 25 started building a seawall off the coast of Henoko in the city of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, the planned relocation site of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.
The work began in blatant disregard of opposition from the Okinawa prefectural government and many citizens.
Unlike past construction work on land or the placement of flotation devices on the sea, the building of a seawall around the planned reclamation site entails filling the water with massive volumes of rocks and sand. If the work continues, it will be difficult to restore the area to its original state.
The Henoko relocation project has entered a crossroads.
The very principles of our nation’s democracy and local autonomy are being tested.

Gov't crosses line with launch of landfill work for Okinawa base relocation

The government on April 25 started reclaiming land off the Henoko district of the Okinawa Prefecture city of Nago despite protests from the prefecture, as it prepares to relocate U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to the area. The move comes 21 years after Tokyo and Washington agreed to return the air station land in the city of Ginowan to Japanese control.
May 15 will mark the 45th anniversary of the reversion of Okinawa to Japan. The new military facility will be the first major U.S. base for the Japanese government to construct since the 1972 reversion. But forcefully constructing the base will not only damage the natural environment in the landfill area, but could also create a rift of opposition between the central government and Okinawa Prefecture that cannot be closed.
In a news conference at the Okinawa Prefectural Government headquarters, an angered Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga heavily criticized the government's move.

Start of U.S. military base construction work in Henoko triggers protest by locals

NAGO, Okinawa -- More than 100 people took part in a protest here in the morning on April 26 to oppose the start of reclamation work the previous day for a U.S. military base at Henoko that will replace the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in the city of Ginowan.
Banners with messages such as "We must not lose" could be seen at the protest, reflecting the angry mood of local residents.
With occasional showers overhead, the protesting residents kicked off their sit-down demonstration from about 7:30 a.m. on April 26 dressed in waterproof coats. The location of their protest was deliberately chosen as the area in front of Camp Schwab in Henoko, with the intention of trying to block any construction-related vehicles from approaching the building site.

Just ‘An Island in the Pacific’: How Washington Demeans Its Colonial Conquests

From Hawaii to Okinawa, Pacific islands seem relegated to serve as neverland vacation getaways — as well as outposts for our military empire.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently earned a news cycle’s worth of negative press after an interview in which he seemed to dismiss the entire state of Hawaii, where a federal judge earlier this year blocked the Trump administration’s ban on refugees and on travelers from six Muslim-majority countries.
“I really am amazed,” Sessions complained, “that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power.”
Sessions’ comments were widely seen as ignorant and arrogant, dismissing U.S. federal district judge Derrick Watson and the “island in the Pacific” on which he sits. Hawaii’s Senators Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz were quick to fire back on Twitter, with Schatz reminding Sessions that that island is called Oahu, and it happens to be part of a U.S. state.

US test-fires ICBM traveling 4,000 miles to South Pacific

The U.S. Air Force test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile which traveled over 4,000 miles before splashing down in the South Pacific after launching early Wednesday from a base in California. 
The nuclear-capable missile was unarmed, according to the Air Force, and comes amid increasing tensions on the Korean Peninsula. 
The Minuteman III missile blasted off at 12:03 a.m. Wednesday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

Pacific military leader concerned about North Korea’s missile threat to Hawaii

Does Hawaii face a nuclear missile threat from North Korea?
The top U.S. commander in the Pacific says yes.
During a House Armed Services Committee hearing Wednesday on Capitol Hill, Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., U.S. Pacific Command, said Hawaii may not be fully protected.
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D, Hawaii, raised the question: “Given Hawaii is home to your headquarters, how do you characterize the threat of North Korea specifically to Hawaii and how confident are you in our current BMD (ballistic missile defense) capabilities against that threat?”
“I am concerned about it,” he replied. “I believe that that our ballistic missile architecture is sufficient to protect Hawaii today, but it can be overwhelmed and you know if, if Kim Jong-un or someone else launched ballistic missiles, ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) against the United States, someone would have to make a decision on which ones to take out or not. So that’s a difficult decision.

Top commander in Pacific: US needs to strengthen missile defense

The top U.S. military commander in the Pacific told lawmakers on Wednesday that the country needs to do more to bolster its missile defense systems amid heightened concerns over North Korea's rapidly advancing weapon program.
"I believe that across the range of integrated air missile defense – IAMD – that we can and need to do more," Adm. Harry Harris, the commander of U.S. Pacific Command, said at a House Armed Services Committee hearing. 
Harris said the U.S. could improve on the number of radar and interceptors — defense systems designed to take out incoming missiles — particularly in Hawaii. The U.S. currently has interceptors in California and Alaska.
While current systems are currently sufficient to protect against an attack by North Korea, he said, they could eventually become overwhelmed.

'If it flies, it will die': Pacific commander says the US can knock down anything North Korea fires

Ahead of an extraordinary White House briefing for senators, close ally South Korea on Wednesday started installing key parts of a contentious U.S. defense system against missiles from North Korea. And America's Pacific commander said any North Korean missile fired at U.S. forces would be destroyed.
"If it flies, it will die," Adm. Harry Harris Jr., told Congress.
South Korea's trumpeting of progress in setting up the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, comes as high-powered U.S. military vessels converge on the Korean Peninsula and as a combative North Korea signals possible nuclear and missile testing. Harris said the THAAD would be operational within days.
North Korea conducted live-fire artillery drills on Tuesday, the 85th anniversary of the founding of its million-person Korean People's Army. On the same day, a U.S. guided-missile submarine docked in South Korea. The USS Carl Vinson aircraft supercarrier also is headed toward the peninsula for an exercise with South Korea. China, which is urging restraint on all sides, called for the U.S. to halt the maneuvers.

White House briefs US senators on 'very grave threat' from North Korea

The Trump administration is ratcheting up its campaign against North Korea, summoning all 100 US senators to the White House. There, top defence officials declared that defending the US from a possible nuclear attack has become a top priority. However, by the meeting's end, a number of senators seemed bewildered, saying they still didn't know what the White House's policy on North Korea was, and that the briefing lacked straight answers. The unusual classified gathering came after the top US military officer in the Pacific said the Pentagon needed to consider deploying new anti-ballistic missile systems and a defensive radar to Hawaii to protect that island state against a growing threat from North Korea.

"Kim Jong Un is clearly in a position to threaten Hawaii today, in my opinion," Admiral Harry Harris, the chief of US Pacific Command, told the House Armed Services Committee. "I have suggested that we consider putting interceptors in Hawaii that ... defend (it) directly, and that we look at a defensive Hawaii radar."

H2B approvals at 0 percent; only 139 workers left on Guam

Contrary to some critics, Department of Labor's Greg Massey says Guam does have a strong core construction workforce.
Guam - The approval rating for H2B workers is now down to 0 percent. That according to Department of Labor’s Administrator of Alien Labor Processing Greg Massey who says with no approvals since last year, the number of H2B workers on Guam has dwindled down to just 139. And with numbers that low, experts point out that it’s not just the Guam economy that could be affected but the nation’s defense as well.
Two experts who have been following the labor shortage crisis on Guam closely addressed members of the business community today for the Chamber of Commerce general membership meeting. Both provided an update, painting a grim picture of Guam’s future economy and the risks in our military defense strategies if this labor crisis continues.
The 100 percent denials has created a sense of panic in the business and construction industry as construction projects are put on hold with many construction companies on the brink of shutting down. Even Governor Calvo proclaimed that he would no longer support the military buildup as long as H2B visas continue to be denied.

U.S. military helicopter crashes near Guam

Hagatna, #Guam, is the new crash site where a U.S. Navy helicopter crashed. The #MH-60R Seahawk is part of Marine Strike Squadron 78. The USS Dewey rescued the crew who are not injured. The crash is still under investigation. 
Just last week, an aircraft crashed on a golf course in Maryland. The crew member was severely injured, and it caused damage to local civilian populated areas. Now this week in Guam, an MH60R crashed and was recovered by the USS Dewey.
The USS Dewey is a guided-missile destroyer that is deployed as part of Sterett-Dewey Surface Action Group. The destroyer is headed to the “Western Pacific.”.