D+1 (10 July, 1987)
Skirmishes erupt on the DMZ in Korea between ROK and North Korean forces. The clashes are brief, and limited to exchanges of small arms fire.
US B-52 bombers based at Andersen AFB, Guam are dispersed to alternate airfields in the Northern Marianas.
North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung gives a speech promising the “Time for reunification of the Korean Peninsula is almost upon us.”
D+2 (11 July, 1987)
Additional North Korean divisions are detected moving towards the DMZ.
The Combined Forces Command in Seoul prepares for war. All US and ROK forces in Korea are brought to their highest alert level. The US 3rd Marine Division in Okinawa begins moving to Korea. The USAF 18th TFW based at Kadena Air Base on the tiny island, also starts deploying to bases on the peninsula.
In the South China Sea shots are exchanged between Vietnamese patrol boats and a Chinese frigate. There are no reports of heavy damage, or casualties.
D+3 (12 July, 1987)
Incidents between US/ROK and North Korean air and naval forces occur. USAF F-16s shoot down three North Korean MiG-23 Floggers over the Yellow Sea after being fired upon by the MiGs. Off the port city of Pohang, a North Korean Romeo-class submarine fires two torpedoes at a ROK Frigate. The torpedoes miss and the submarine escapes prosecution efforts by ROK S-2 Trackers.
The first offensive Soviet action in the Western Pacific takes place. Tu-16 Badgers based at Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam attack Clark Air Base in the Philippines. US F-4 Phantoms of the 3rd TFW intercept most of the Badgers over the South China Sea, destroying eight and forcing the remaining six to abort before they are able to fire their cruise missiles. Of the four AS-6 cruise missiles that are successfully launched, only two detonate within the Clark perimeter. Damage is light and does not hinder air operations.
Backchannel negotiations between Japan, and the Soviet Union concerning the future of Sakhalin Island break down.
D+4 (13 July, 1987)
Clashes between Soviet and Chinese ground forces take place on the Sino-Soviet frontier.
Japanese Red Army (JRA) operatives begin a pre-orchestrated series of attacks against targets across the Western Pacific. Mortars are fired at the US and Canadian embassies in Jakarta. A bomb explodes at Singapore’s Changi Airport. The Japanese ambassador to Australia is assassinated while giving a press conference in Canberra.
D+5 (14 July, 1987)
In the Philippines, New People’s Army (NPA) guerillas start a 3-day long period of bombings in and around Manila.
Beijing quietly tells Pyongyang it will not support any overt attack made by North Korea against its southern neighbor.
D+6 (15 July, 1987)
North Korea informs its Soviet allies about the Chinese warning. Moscow tells Kim Il Sung it will support his nation in the event of war breaking out in Korea. The support will come in the form of supplies, material, and possibly even men.
Satellite photographs and ELINT data suggest the Soviet Red Banner Pacific Fleet is preparing to sortie in the next 36 hours.
The USS Ranger and her battlegroup arrive in the 7th Fleet AOR.