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Action again North Korea's ballistic missiles a hard call for US

13 Agosto 2017, 03:17 | Bibiana Flor

Action again North Korea's ballistic missiles a hard call for US

Action again North Korea's ballistic missiles a hard call for US

The exchange of threats has alarmed the tiny island, which is home to about 160,000 people, about 40 percent of whom are Filipinos, according to Norman Analista, president of the Filipino Community of Guam. Nearly a third of its land is controlled by the USA military and about 6,000 American troops are based there.

"I'm a little anxious, a little panicked".

"Both assured me that the people of Guam are safe", Calvo wrote on Facebook. "If it's just me, I don't mind, but I have to worry about my son".

"I'm a religious person", said Martha Bernard.

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.

Two days after North Korea laid out its plans to strike near Guam with unsettling specificity, there was no observable march toward combat.

Even though missiles from the North would nearly certainly carry dummy warheads, analysts said, a failure to intercept them would deal Mr. Trump a mortifying setback and could even weaken the rationale for installing an American missile defense system in South Korea. North Korea says it will "keep closely watching the speech and behavior of the U.S".

Last week, New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English criticized Trump's "fire and fury" comments as "not helpful in an environment that's very tense".

Just before assuming office, Trump on January 2 dismissed a North Korean statement declaring it was close to developing a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the USA, vowing "it won't happen!".

If U.S. territory is threatened, countermeasures are a no-brainer.

Action again North Korea's ballistic missiles a hard call for US

"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". NPR's Elise Hu is there now, and she sent us this report of life for the time being continuing as usual.

Other residents are anxious about the political atmosphere and the government's ability to find a peaceful solution.

"But I have to say, I'm not laughing now", Thompson said. "The government plans to commit constant efforts to the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and reconciliation and cooperation between South and North", he said. That is close to half the distance between Guam and Hawaii, which sits about 3,960 miles away. Spain's colonial rule continued until the USA took control in 1898 during the Spanish-American War.

The KPA spokesman went on to say the plan could be put into practice "any moment" once Kim Jong-un decides to move forward with it.

Guam is armed with the U.S. Army's defense system known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, which can intercept missiles.

Guam elected its first governor in 1970 and, since 1972, has had one nonvoting delegate in the U.S. House of Representatives.

With North Korea threatening a missile strike on the U.S. territory of Guam, here is an overview of United States forces in the region. They included the president musing that his initial warning of delivering "fire and fury" to North Korea - which appeared to evoke a nuclear explosion - was too timid.

Guam's homeland security advisor, George Charfauros, said the situation was being closely monitored but that there was "no imminent threat to the safety of the residents and visitors of Guam and the CNMI [Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands] at this time".

North Korea's threat on Thursday to test-fire ballistic missiles soon near the American territory of Guam deepened the challenge confronting the Trump administration: how to defang Pyongyang's missile programs without risking all-out war. He said hopes diplomacy works, but American needs to have a backup plan if it doesn't.

A travel agent on Guam said they haven't had a surge of customers seeking to book flights off the island.



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