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

13 Août 2017

Guam Governor Eddie Calvo said the remote Pacific island was accustomed to being a target ever since Washington placed military installations there.

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

The US island territory's Office of Civil Defence began distributing fact sheets, Preparing for an Imminent Missile Threat, on Friday, to help people prepare for an attack.

At a church in central Guam Sunday, parishioners sang "Lord, we pray for world peace" after discussing the potential North Korean threat.

A drumbeat of threats by North Korea over the years has fostered a sense of resilience among the island's 162,000 inhabitants, whose lives are deeply intertwined with the United States military, which has 6,000 troops based there.

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

"Since 2006, when North Korea first conducted its nuclear test, there wasn't this much response as people became immune to frequent missile launches and nuclear tests", said Mr Yoon Hee Yeul, the chief executive of Combat Ration, based in the south-eastern city of Daegu.

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis on Wednesday echoed Trump's tough stance against the threats from the North, stating that a provocation would be met with the "destruction of its people".

The Defense Department owns about one-quarter of Guam's 212 square miles. And at the southern end, there's the Naval Base Guam that hosts the Submarine Squadron Fifteen and the USS Frank Cable.

Kuntz said that nothing has changed in terms of Joint Region Marianas' procedures when it comes to communications between the military and dependents.

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The U.S. set up the Naval Station in Guam in 1899, designating the whole island as a base.

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

In August past year, the North's Foreign Ministry warned that all USA military bases in the Pacific including Guam would "face ruin in the face of all-out and substantial attack" by the North's military.

"I'm pro military buildup", said resident Gus Aflague, 60, whose grandfather and brother both joined the U.S. Navy. US defense spending is the main economic driver of the island, making up about 40 percent of its gross domestic product, followed by tourism.

But now Kim has publicly crossed Trump.

Gofigan said there is not a lot of panic in Guam, and that people's faith - the island has been overwhelmingly Catholic since the arrival of Spanish missionaries in the 17th century- has been on display in recent days.

Guam has a non-voting delegate in Congress, Democratic Rep. Madeleine Bordallo who is a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

"Recently, North Korea made its habitual absurd remarks that it will turn Seoul into a sea of fire and that it will strike near Guam", Song said according to ministry official. "We are with you a thousand percent", Trump said, according to video of the call posted on Calvo's Facebook page.

The defence ministry started deploying the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) system in Shimane, Hiroshima and Kochi in western Japan, which Pyongyang warned could be along its missiles' flight path, public broadcaster NHK said. Guam officials are disseminating fact sheets to help residents prepare for a possible missile attack from North Korea.

The other? "If they attack Guam or some other American interest", Graham said.

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