News Worms
News Worms

There's more to Guam than U.S. military bases, residents say

There's more to Guam than U.S. military bases, residents say

But residents are increasingly anxious over Washington's escalating war of words with North Korea.

After decades of living peacefully, Guam authorities are urging their citizens to be prepared for an "imminent" missile attack from North Korea after the rogue state threatened to unleash "enveloping fire" at the small island sitting 9,700km from the US mainland.

Tourists frolic along the Tumon beach on the island of Guam, a US Pacific Territory. About 7,000 USA soldiers and their families live on the island, which has a population of 160,000, according to the Associated Press. The chilling two-page fact sheet details what citizens of the 162,000-populated island that houses 6,000 US troops should do to survive the worst outcome of the boiling tensions between Washington and Pyongyang. Protecting the island is a defense system capable of shooting down ballistic missiles.

The possibility of a nuclear confrontation is considered remote but worldwide alarm has been escalating in recent days. "If the explosion is some distance away, it could take 30 seconds or more for the blast wave to hit".

But with Pyongyang regularly threatening to turn Seoul into a "sea of flames" - and nagging questions over Washington's willingness to defend it if doing so put its own cities in danger of retaliatory attacks - the South's media are leading calls for a change of tack.

Air Force B-1B Lancer Bombers arrived on the island of Guam Friday morning. The U.S. recaptured the territory three years later.

Here's a closer look at Guam and its role in the USA and North Korea's ongoing war of words.

While experts estimate the consequences and economic impact of an imminent us vs North Korea war, some Guamanians are stockpiling essentials to survive while taking shelter if Pyongyang makes good on its promise to strike the island.

"I'm glad you're holding the helm, Sir", he said.

Padilla expressed confidence that there "is still a lot of room for dialogue" to thwart North Korea's plan, citing the presence of Pyongyang's foreign minister at the Asean meeting in Manila last week as a "positive sign". In a statement this week, Bordallo called North Korea's threat to target Guam "dangerous", saying she has discussed threats with Mattis and other defense leaders, who have "consistently reassured me that Guam is protected".

Some posters lament the lack of knowledge about Guam on the part of most US residents.

"Japan invaded us, the Spanish invaded us", Genereux says. Located on the northeast side of the island, the Air Force base retains a fleet of B52 bombers and fighter jets. Guam was also a refueling and transfer spot for military personnel heading to Southeast Asia. Residents do not pay USA income taxes or vote in the general election for US president.

Guamanians have served in all major USA wars since World War II and see military service as a source of pride.

Resident Isaac Camacho, 19, says he feels Guam's relationship with the USA mainland is "a little misunderstood on their part".

Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, estimated the risk of a military conflict between the USA and North Korea as "very high", and said Moscow was deeply concerned. Chamorros are the indigenous people of Guam.


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