Guam Officials Urge Calm After North Korea Threatens Attack

Rufina Vignone
Agosto 10, 2017

- The tiny USA territory of Guam feels a strong sense of patriotism and confidence in the American military, which has an enormous presence on the Pacific island. Why is North Korea so infatuated with tiny Guam?

That leads to the first reason why Guam is so often in North Korea's crosshairs: It is accessible while the rest of America is not. Tests of North Korea's own missile suggest that now, the island is within the range of Pyongyang.

Guam, the United States territory and military base in the Pacific Ocean, is rarely on the tips of our tongues.

Life on Guam is also deeply tied the military bases and the service members stationed at them. The U.S. territory is home to Andersen Air Force Base.

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman said in an interview with WCPO Wednesday, "We've got to also make clear to our allies and to our enemies like North Korea that. we're going to stand firm".

The army said in a statement distributed Wednesday by the state-run news agency that it is studying a plan to create an "enveloping fire" in areas around Guam with medium- to long-range ballistic missiles.

During the Vietnam War, the Air Force sent 155 B-52 bombers to Guam to hit targets in Southeast Asia.

Japan said it had conducted joint air drills with U.S. supersonic bombers in Japanese skies close to the Korean peninsula on Tuesday as tension in the region escalates amid North Korea's continued ballistic missile tests. The bombers are believed to particularly rattle Pyongyang because they carry nuclear weapons (except the B-1B, which can no longer carry nukes) and could be used in a conventional "decapitation strike" to kill Kim Jong-un before he can issue nuclear launch orders.

There's a sense of patriotism among those who cite the island's history of Guam residents serving in the US military.

"I'm pro military buildup", said resident Gus Aflague, 60, whose grandfather and brother both joined the U.S. Navy. The U.S. took control of Guam in 1898, when Spanish authorities surrendered to the U.S. Navy.

North Korea says it is examining its operational plans for attacking Guam to contain USA bases there. The four Los Angeles-class submarines, USS Topeka, USS Chicago, USS Oklahoma City, and USS Key West could all contribute to a massive air campaign against North Korea with their Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles. Their location in a US territory means its military is just hours from potential flashpoints in the western Pacific.

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