The tiny US territory of Guam feels a strong sense of patriotism and confidence in the American military, which has an enormous presence on the Pacific island.
Island residents woke up Wednesday to national headlines of the North Korean missile threat, which came after President Donald Trump said “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States”.
“We always maintain a high state of readiness and have the capabilities to counter any threat, to include those from North Korea”, Marine Lt. Col. Christopher B. Logan, a Pentagon spokesman, said when asked about the military’s posture on Guam.
One of the lingering questions is whether North Korea fires at Guam, or near it, as the current version of Pyongyang’s missile plan reportedly specifies. Most recently, in March 2013, North Korean military officials made a statement about Andersen Air Force Base being within “striking range”.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said there are two scenarios that could trigger war with North Korea. The tourist district of Tumon, home to many of Guam’s hotels and resorts, is in between.
Japan will reportedly discuss the issue with the USA during a meeting of foreign and defense ministers of the two nations set for next week.
Homeland Security spokeswoman Jenna Gaminde has previously told the media that Guam residents would be immediately alarmed by sirens from the All-Hazards Alert Warning System located across the small Pacific island in case North Korea delivers its promise to strike Guam “within two weeks”. They threatened US, other countries, and they threaten Guam.
At least 150,000 USA citizens live in South Korea, many in Seoul, the capital city of almost 10 million people. The U.S. recaptured the territory three years later.
It’s not the first time North Korea has threatened Guam, which is a crucial, strategic hub for USA forces in the Pacific.
Six B-1B bombers, each capable of carrying up to 84 missiles, are stationed at Guam’s military base.
Guam, an unincorporated US territory, is a strategic outpost about 2,100 miles south-east of Pyongyang.
Padilla expressed confidence that there “is still a lot of room for dialogue” to thwart North Korea’s plan, citing the presence of Pyongyang’s foreign minister at the Asean meeting in Manila last week as a “positive sign”. The 163,000 residents that make up Guam’s population, which includes 6,000 US service members, are considered USA citizens.
The U.S. took control of Guam in 1898, when Spanish authorities surrendered to the U.S. Navy.
But there’s also some resentment about not being able to vote in the general election for US president.
The confirmation came as NBC News in the U.S. gave details on a possible pre-emptive United States military strike on North Korea.
The official languages of Guam are English and Chamorro, which means ‘noble.’ It’s a Malayo-Polynesian language that has incorporated Spanish words over time.