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Asian stocks fall as North Korea, US tensions escalate

Asian stocks fall as North Korea, US tensions escalate

After President Trump threatened to bring "fire and fury" down on North Korea, Pyongyang said Wednesday that it is "carefully examining the operational plan for making an enveloping fire at the areas around Guam".

After the end of the Cold War, the military started to downsize operations.

A spokesman for the Korean People's Army, in a statement carried by the North's state-run KCNA news agency, said the strike plan against Guam will be "put into practice in a multi-current and consecutive way any moment".

It may come as no surprise that North Korea sees the military presence on Guam as a provocation. Guam was also a refueling and transfer spot for people heading to Southeast Asia, and many refugees fleeing Saigon were evacuated through Guam.

Citizens of self-governing Guam are US citizens, although they can't vote for president.

Despite the significant contribution the military makes to the local economy, there is a small but growing opposition to its presence.

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Naval Base Guam is an important outpost for USA fast-attack nuclear powered submarines that are a key means for gathering intelligence in the region, including off the Korean peninsula and in the South China Sea where China has been building military bases on man-made islands that have stirred tension across Asia.

TOKYO, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Asian stocks turned lower on Thursday as investors fretted about the simmering tensions between the United States and North Korea, sending Seoul shares skidding to two-month lows even as the previous day's rush into safe-haven assets appeared to slow.

"Geopolitical tensions are the key driving force this morning, boosting demand for safe havens", TD Securities analysts said in a note.

In August a year ago, the North's Foreign Ministry warned that all USA military bases in the Pacific including Guam would "face ruin in the face of all-out and substantial attack" by the North's military.

But Mistry said the focus should now be on getting out of the shouting match.

"Dollar/yen has already gone below 110.00 yen, and at this stage we are likely to see the pair begin to bottom out as the market finds time to assess the situation", said Kyosuke Suzuki, director of forex at Societe Generale in Tokyo. "No I don't foresee that", he said. "My concern is that things have changed in Washington, and who knows what's going to happen?"