While there has been some resistance and displeasure from the people of Guam over the US military’s presence, it is also essential to the island’s economy, second only to tourism in importance.
In remarks to reporters, Trump issued the threat directly at Kim, who is also known for his bellicose rhetoric, and all but drew a red line that would trigger swift US action.
Residents of the tiny Pacific island of Guam say they’re afraid of being caught in the middle of escalating tensions between the USA and North Korea after Pyongyang announced it was examining plans for attacking the strategically important US territory. It would be up to Kim whether the move is actually carried out.
“Let’s see what he does with Guam”.
Despite the governor’s reassurance, residents of Guam have said they fear being caught in the crossfire as America and North Korea square up. “It’s not a dare, it’s a statement“.
“We give a strict warning”, the spokesman said.
Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, estimated the risk of a military conflict between the US and North Korea as “very high”, and said Moscow was deeply concerned.
U.S. ECONOMY: Employers posted a record number of open jobs in June while a survey of small businesses showed optimism improving. An air base with long-range bombers and a naval base that’s home port for fast-attack submarines are among the most “strategically important” the USA has in the Pacific, according to the CIA World Factbook.
North Korea said it mastered a crucial technology needed to strike the USA with a nuclear missile.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has every reason to denounce the North’s plan, saying, “It is obviously an act of provocation and absolutely can not be tolerated”. Guam also has a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system, similar to one recently installed in South Korea. Today, Naval Base Guam is the home port for four nuclear-powered fast attack submarines and two submarine tenders. The Navy and Air Force fall under Joint Region Marianas command.
“Definitely, I know Guam is a pretty good target because it’s important to the USA because of the military”, she said.
If it is designated as such, missile interception and protection of USA military vessels will be allowed. The suffering of Guamanians during the occupation was acknowledged by the U.S. Congress previous year, in a bill providing for compensation to survivors.
There were no signs of panic or an exodus from the island of 163,000 people on Thursday, with its wide roads clogged with commuters and commercial vehicles and shops and restaurants doing brisk trade from South Korean and Japanese tourists drawn to the island’s green hills and bright turquoise waters. Investors will study the numbers to get a feel for the US inflation trend and any impact the data could have on the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy.
The territory has struggled economically and is known to investors for its municipal bonds, which have so far been relatively unaffected by the saber rattling between Trump and Kim.
The island was first populated about 4,000 years ago by the ancestors of the Chamorros, still the island’s largest ethnic group.
Guam has a non-voting delegate in Congress, Democratic Representative Madeleine Bordallo who is a member of the House Armed Services Committee.
North Korea has unleashed personal attacks on past Washington and Seoul leaders.
“While we have heard threats like this in the past, I take them very seriously and continue to engage with our DOD partners to ensure that Guam and our people remain safe”, she said, adding that Trump’s statements “concerning and unhelpful”.
North Korea says it will “keep closely watching the speech and behavior of the U.S”.
The rotations also came as North Korea increasingly upped the ante in the standoff over its development of nuclear weapons.
“Americans should sleep well at night”, Tillerson told reporters.
He said: “An attack or threat to Guam is a threat or attack on the United States”.