Guam residents warned about nuke blast if North Korea attacks

Michael Gerson

President Donald Trump has issued a number of warnings to the rogue state over its threats to the USA and on Friday said leader Kim Jong Un will "truly regret an attack on Guam".

Calvo responded by saying he feels safe and confident with Trump's leadership: "I'm glad you're holding the helm, sir".

But restraint was not the word of the day on Friday as Trump sent out a cascade of unscripted statements, including what appeared to be another red line - the mere utterance of threats - that would trigger a USA attack against North Korea and "big, big trouble" for Kim.

The exercises are an annual event, but come as Pyongyang says it is readying a plan to fire off four Hwasong-12 missiles toward the tiny island, which is US territory and major military hub.

Residents of the tiny territory - just 12 miles at its widest point and circled with handsome beaches - find themselves again caught in the middle of a war of words as a volley of hostile rhetoric was launched between North Korea and the United States, including pointed threats of nuclear action.

"Things will happen to them like they never thought possible, OK?"

"I'm pro military buildup", said resident Gus Aflague, 60, whose grandfather and brother both joined the U.S. Navy.

According to its reported plan, North Korea would fire four Hwasong-12 intermediate-range missiles over Japan and into waters around Guam, home to about 7,000 troops and 160,000 people. But it is as steeped in USA culture as any small city on the mainland - even if shoppers at its Kmart (the biggest in the world) can look outside and see a lush Pacific island setting. USA bombers have flown over the Korean Peninsula several times to show American strength after Pyongyang's missile tests.

KCNA said on Wednesday a mass rally was held in Pyongyang to support the government.

The Maritime Self-Defense Force has sent an Aegis destroyer installed with the SM-3 interceptor in the Sea of Japan to be on guard against North Korea missiles.

He later retweeted a posting from U.S. Pacific Command that showed B-1B Lancer bomber planes on Guam that "stand ready to fulfill USFK's #FightTonight mission if called upon to do so". Chamorros are the indigenous people of Guam.

Guam is about 2,100 miles (3,380 kilometers) southeast of Pyongyang and 3,800 miles (6,115 kilometers) west of Honolulu in the Pacific Ocean.

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

FILE - In this file image made from video by North Korea's KRT released on July 28, 2017, North Korean leader Kim Jung Un, second from right, gestures at the site of a missile test at an undisclosed location in North Korea.

The governor of Guam, Eddie Baza Calvo, said there had been no change to the threat level on the island, despite the harsh words. She noted that similar threats in 2013 led to an advanced missile defense system - known as THAAD, for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense - to be permanently placed on the island as a deterrent.

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