North Korea says it is examining its operational plans for attacking Guam to contain USA bases there. That base and a US naval base are home to about 13,000 American military personnel.
The tiny USA territory of Guam feels a strong sense of patriotism and confidence in the American military.
Like other US territories, Guam has a sometimes complicated relationship with the USA mainland but many across the island say despite the threats and concerns they feel reassured and protected by the military especially in times of tense, geopolitical sparring.
“I’m not really too anxious about it. Is this really going to happen?” said Cecil Chugrad, a 37-year-old bus driver for a tour bus company in Guam.
President Donald Trump responded that perhaps his “fire and fury” warning “wasn’t tough enough”.
Reports suggested North Korea mastered a technological hurdle needed to strike the US with a nuclear missile.
“I’m pretty confident that the USA will protect us”.
“North Korea has always threatened other countries”.
A social media post stating a commanding officer briefed military personnel on a North Korea missile attack is false.
While it is extremely unlikely that Pyongyang would risk the assured annihilation of its revered leadership with a pre-emptive attack on USA citizens, some residents are concerned. Chamorros are the indigenous people of Guam. Despite government assurances, residents of the USA territory Guam say they’re afraid after being caught in the middle of rising tensions between President Donald Trump and North Korea.
“For me because I’m a father, so it’s really concerning, you know, I wish it didn’t have to come to that”, he said.
His brother Mitch Thompson, who also lives on Guam, added he believes “a lot of people have no confidence that the White House will do the right thing under the circumstances”.
The strip of land in the western Pacific Ocean is roughly the size of Chicago, and just 4 miles (6 km) wide at its narrowest point. For years, North Korea has claimed Guam is within its missiles’ striking distance, making furious statements each time when the USA flew powerful bombers from the island’s air base to the Korean Peninsula.
The U.S. military has said it plans to increase its presence on Guam and will move thousands of U.S. Marines now stationed in Japan to the island between 2024 and 2028.
He said now is the time to pray that the leaders of the USA and North Korea will choose peace over war.
Naval Base Guam is an important outpost for US fast-attack nuclear powered submarines that are a key means for gathering intelligence in the region, including off the Korean peninsula and in the South China Sea where China has been building military bases on man-made islands that have stirred tension across Asia.
Here’s a closer look at Guam and its role in the US and North Korea’s ongoing war of words. Many refugees fleeing Vietnam were evacuated through Guam.
Governor Torres said he had faith in President Trump to make appropriate decisions for the security and protection of the CNMI and neighbour Guam. “They have said that America will be defended”. Protecting the island is the U.S. Army’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defence, or THAAD, which is used to shoot down ballistic missiles. “It’s just like a regular business day”.
“On the North Korean side”, he says, “there are differences of specificity”.