As the rhetoric from the North has become louder, so have the warnings from U.S. military leaders that they are prepared to respond to any action from Pyongyang against the United States and its allies.
The Pentagon is sending its advanced Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile system - seen here in a test in 2009 - to Guam in the latest signal that Washington will do what it takes to defend its interests.
Guam is one of the places -North Korea has threatened to strike, along with South Korea, Hawaii and the continental United States.
The threats may seem implausible, but Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says they cannot be ignored.
“We take those threats seriously," said Chuck Hagel. "We have to take those threats seriously. I think we’ve had measured responsible, serious responses to those threats.”
The U.S. is carrying out routine, joint exercises with South Korea. But U.S. forces have recently intensified their display of might, flying long-range bombers, including B-2 stealth bombers, over the Korean Peninsula that are capable of taking out nuclear installations. The U.S. Navy has also positioned anti-missile destroyers in the area.
For U.S. officials, the key is to avoid miscalculations that, in the worst case, could touch off a nuclear conflict.
“It only takes being wrong once and I don’t want to be the Secretary of Defense who was wrong once," said Hagel.
Putting missile defense on Guam marks a significant step for the United States - one it says is a precautionary move meant to strengthen the capabilities of American forces in the region - just in case North Korea’s threats turn out to be real.
1.implausible adj. 难以置信的似乎不合情理的
eg. Alternatives which are extremely implausible need not be discussed at all.
2.routine adj.例行的； 常规的
eg. The routine office work had all been delegated to his executive staff.
eg. The conflict is almost bound to intensify.
4.installation n. 安装；装置
eg. All large ships now have a wireless installation.
eg. This fatal miscalculation lost them the final victory.
eg. Your success today may be significant for your whole future.
eg. He thrust aside all precautionary advice.
1.Guam is one of the places -North Korea has threatened to strike, along with South Korea, Hawaii and the continental United States.
along with除…以外（还）； 以及
Tobacco is taxed in most countries, along with alcohol.
2.The U.S. is carrying out routine, joint exercises with South Korea.
carry out执行； 进行
They swore an oath to carry out their duties faithfully.
3.over the Korean Peninsula that are capable of taking out nuclear installations.
be capable of能够
He may be capable of jealousy when you have made superior progress in your work.
4.For U.S. officials, the key is to avoid miscalculations that, in the worst case, could touch off a nuclear conflict.
Some slight incident may touch off a major war.