Guam keeps its cool after North Korea strike threat

13 August, 2017, 13:17 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Guam keeps its cool after North Korea strike threat

It's the tiny island in the eye of a geopolitical storm.

North Korea, responding to US President Donald Trump's "fire and fury" warning, outlined a detailed plan to fire four Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missiles at Guam by mid-August.

With North Korea threatening to send a salvo of ballistic missiles close to a USA military hub in the Pacific, pressure could grow for Washington to put its multibillion-dollar missile defence system into use and shoot them out of the air before they can pose a real threat. Gov. Eddie Calvo said the USA territory does not face a heightened threat and is "safe and sound". "We can never tolerate this".

"But, considering Guam supposedly has a massive quantity of weapons, all I can do is pray and trust all will be OK".

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga also underscored the importance of the alliance, which he said would be further strengthened through a meeting between Tillerson, Mattis and their Japanese counterparts in Washington next week.

"There is no panic in Guam", Calvo said. "I'm not trying to overlook it or understate it".

Nationalists claim that it is because of the USA military that the island attracts potential threats.

"While standing by 24 hours in preparation for a launch, we are calling on our residents to be on alert in case we issue emergency information", Makoto Ebuchi added.

However, Calvo dismissed the claims saying the island is safe because of the U.S. military presence. Ballistic missiles such as those North Korea has fired go high into space, where satellites are operating. The middle-school teacher in the public school system has lived on Guam for more than 25 years.

As part of its defenses on Guam, the United States installed a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system in 2013. The ship-based defences are created to kill a missile that's in midflight, while the ground-based ones take out whatever missiles make it through and are in the final stage.

He did not elaborate on Guam's defences but the island houses two USA military installations, and is also armed with a sophisticated weapons system known as THAAD, which can destroy short, medium and intermediate-range missiles in their final phase of flight.

He said that Guam and Washington are working together to secure the Pacific island. The US military has a presence on the Korean Peninsula, and in Japan and in its prefectures, such as Okinawa.

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But North Korea mentioned a specific missile, the Hwasong-12, that it's only tested once, and an expert contacted by Business Insider says hitting the United States military in Guam would be easier said than done.

"There are layers that are floating in the Pacific in terms of missile defense", he told CNN.

Guam's Homeland Security Adviser George Charfauros urged calm and said defenses are in place for such threats.

Finally, US special forces could attempt to assassinate Kim by sneaking into North Korea.

In a press conference, Brigadier General Restituto Padilla Jr., AFP spokesman, said the possibility that the Philippines may be hit if North Korea proceeded with its threat of a missile strike against Guam was "remote".

A North Korean missile salvo around Guam would present challenges for the United States and its allies.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said there are two scenarios that could trigger war with North Korea.

However, the brothers say they haven't seen anyone panicking or stocking up on supplies. If thousands die, they're going to die over there.

President Donald Trump assured Calvo that Guam is safe during a phone call.

Calvo suggested that this was unsafe talk.

"We are prepared for any eventuality, more so than any other American community", he said.

"Do not look at the flash or fireball - it can blind you", the note said.

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