AROUND 600 US soldiers and aircraft have arrived in Japan amid fears North Korea may risk war by firing another ballistic missile today.
The troops have flown to Japan to take part in annual military drills codenamed Orient Shield.
Members of the 1st Stryker Brigade from Fort Wainwright, Alaska, will train alongside Japanese troops during the two-week exercise.
AH-64 Apache and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the division’s Combat Aviation Brigade will also take part in the drill.
US troops will train alongside Japanese soldiers from the 34th Infantry Regiment at East Fuji Maneuver Area.
The troops touched downon Friday amid fears North Korea may fire another intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) towards Japan on Saturday.
Captain Adam Bowen, a spokesman for 1st Stryker Brigade, said his team are ready to deal with any provocations from North Korea.
He said: “We’re just focused on the mission at hand and making sure we are ready for anything.”
Defence analysts believe the totalitarian nation has been preparing for another launch after staging its sixth and largest nuclear test last weekend.
South Korea believes the secretive state has moved an ICBM to a coastal position in preparation for another test in the coming days.
“We are ready for anything.” Captain Adam Bowen, a spokesman for 1st Stryker Brigade Seoul believes Kim is preparing to launch a ballistic missile on September 9 – the anniversary of the founding of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 1948.
The rogue nation is known for marking holidays with dramatic shows of force such as nuclear tests and missile launches.
Speaking on Thursday, South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said its neighbour may launch another ICBM to mark the occasion.
He said: “I believe that now is the time to strengthen sanctions to the maximum level while securing military deterrence means.
“Dialogue is ultimately necessary, but now is not the time to talk about dialogue with North Korea.”
US President Donald Trump said it would be a “very sad day for North Korea” if the US is forced to use military action against the nation.
Officials close to Trump have said the Hermit Kingdom is reaching the “red zone” – referring to the point at which war between the two countries is inevitable.
Sources in the White House now believe the United States must act now or risk finding itself on the back foot.
One unnamed advisor said: “There is general consensus in the White House and the Pentagon that North Korea is quite close to the ‘red zone’ and that the US must act soon or lose the upper hand.”