Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Guam's worries grow as tensions rise between US, North Korea

Guam's worries grow as tensions rise between US, North Korea

As it is, the US has a robust military presence in the region, including six B-1 bombers in Guam and Air Force fighter jet units in South Korea, plus other assets across the Pacific Ocean and in the skies above.

The possibility of escalation is made even more acute by the lack of any means of official communication across the Demilitarized Zone, though there has been no easing of the barrage of inflammatory comments in the USA and the North since new sanctions against North Korea were announced last week.

"It was no accident that North Korea threatened to launch four missiles, it deliberately complicates the decisions of US policy makers", he said.

"We call on Pyongyang not to raise tensions further, and to engage in a credible dialogue with the global community".

Amidst the escalating crisis that has put Guam in the crossfire of a possibly nuclear-armed stand-off between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, the Archdiocese of Agana is asking faithful to "look to God in these hard times".

Some 40,000 American and South Korean troops as well as civilians, training civil defense response, will participate in the exercises on land, air and sea, according to the US State Department.

Burger said the news is prompting his family to ask him when he's coming home. "It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before", he tweeted.

"If our past generations dealt with it, so can we", said Santos, the Guam Museum employee, who was born and raised on the island.

Washington and Pyongyang have been engaged in an escalating war of words since Wednesday when Trump warned of "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if the North continues escalating its nuclear threat. Some people are just - we just want our place.

"I can't underscore enough how unappealing all the military options are", said Christine Wormuth, the Pentagon's top policy official at the end of the Obama administration.

Because Guam is a USA territory, the US military may launch forces from there without worrying about upsetting a host nation that may object to US actions.

"Trump said the USA would take tough measures if North Korea fired off missiles, but it did not", said Zhang Liangui, a professor at the ruling Communist Party's main training academy. Agency Administrator Vern Miyagi says because it would take a missile about 15 minutes to arrive, there won't be much time to prepare.

"North Korea has a good fight on their hands if they're going to try to mess with Guam", said resident Andrea Salas.

A US intelligence report says North Korea has developed a nuclear warhead small enough to fit inside a ballistic missile, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday. "They don't know if the re-entry technologies will really hold up - whether the bomb will survive the trip".

In all the North has staged five atomic tests - including three under Kim - as it seeks to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the continental US.

The collective defence clause was invoked for the first time by the North Atlantic Council following the 9/11 terror attacks when countries moved within 24 hours.

After North Korea's second test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on July 28, South Korean President Moon Jae-in ordered a speedy deployment of the controversial U.S. THAAD anti-missile defence system, reversing his earlier decision to postpone it pending an environmental review.

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