'Enjoy the beaches': Resilient Guam shrugs off North Korea threat

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 10, 2017

North Korean officials responded Wednesday, calling Trump's threat a "load of nonsense" and announcing they would complete their plans to strike areas around Guam, a USA territory, by mid-August.

After US President Donald Trump threatened North Korea on Tuesday "with fire and fury ... like the world has never seen", in response to their ongoing missile tests, the country's state-run Korea Central News Agency quoted a government spokesman saying that Pyongyang was "carefully examining" a missile strike against Guam.

Clarissa Baumgartner, a 25-year old Guam resident, said Pyongyang's second threat in as many days to train its ballistic missiles on Guam wasn't something she was taking too seriously.

"As of this morning we have not changed our stance in confidence that the U.S. Department of Defense is monitoring the situation very closely and is maintaining a condition of readiness, daily", said George Charfauros, Guam Homeland Security advisor.

Guam is an unincorporated territory of the U.S. located about 3,400 km southeast of North Korea.

Guam, island of 550 km2, was discovered in 1521 by the Portuguese navigator Magellan, then occupied as early as 1526 by the Spanish. The back-and-forth statements from the two countries followed a Washington Post report on a us intelligence confidential assessment that concluded North Korea has made a miniaturized nuclear warhead that will fit inside its missiles.

The American military presence on Guam consists of two bases: Andersen Air Force Base in the north and Naval Base Guam in the south.

North Korea said early Thursday a plan of a missile strike near Guam, which hosts several United States military bases, would be prepared by mid-August.

USA forces on the island were not immediately available for comment. He said they are prepared for "any eventuality". "We are not just a military installation".

Mistry believes the USA should be focused right now on avoid a war. "The closer you get to that, you're stressing the performance of the system", he said.

A Japanese defense paper and a US media report said Tuesday that North Korea may have successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles.

The US Air Force commands both the ground-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, which are ready to go at any time, and nuclear-capable bombers.

That would mean North Korea has passed a crucial threshold on the path to becoming a full-fledged nuclear power. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence could not immediately be reached for comment.

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