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Japan readied its missile defense systems against a possible North Korean missile attack on Guam, saying it would shoot down any missiles intended to strike Guam.

Patriot anti-missile batteries were deployed on the grounds of the Defense Ministry in Tokyo and at military installations in and around the capital, according to Japanese news reports. The PAC-3 batteries will also be based on the island of Okinawa, which hosts the bulk of U.S. troops in Japan, sooner than planned in response to North Korea’s threats.

Escalating threats from North Korea have troubled nearby Japan. Pyongyang has warned that it could attack U.S. military bases in Japan and on the Pacific island of Guam. The country recently moved a medium-range rocket to its eastern coast, putting South Korea, Japan and other parts of Southeast Asia in range, Fox News reports.

North Korea declared on Thursday it would have a plan ready by “mid-August” to launch four missiles into waters near the US territory of Guam, as it branded Donald Trump’s threats as “nonsense”.

The statement from North Korean General Kim Rak Gyom said North Korea would produce a plan to fire four Hwasong-12 rockets more then 2,000 miles over Japan to “hit the waters 30 to 40 km away from Guam”.

The plan would be presented to leader Kim Jong-un who would make a decision on whether to proceed. The statement added: “We will keep closely watching the speech and behavior of the US.”

SOD Mattis, called on North Korea to “cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people”.

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in telephoned Mr Trump asking for support in doubling the existing 500kg payload of ballistic missiles it would use in a military conflict with its neighbor.

In the event of missiles targeting U.S. bases in Guam, Japan will activate its Aegis destroyer missile defense system, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera.

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