Trump toughens warning on North Korea, despite bipartisan criticism

Marco Green
August 12, 2017

The small USA territory of Guam has become a focal point after North Korea's army threatened to use ballistic missiles to create an "enveloping fire" around the island.

August 8: North Korea says it is reviewing plans to attack the U.S. island of Guam.

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

US Air Force B-1B Lancers returned to Andersen Air Force base on Guam this week after completing a 10-hour joint flight missions with South Korean and Japanese aircraft near North Korea.

The US military has a large presence here - its bases cover nearly a third of the island's land area - and prepares for worst-case scenarios like this.

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

The announcement, which included detailed maps, came after a week of an increasingly heated war of words between North Korea and the USA that saw Trump threaten Pyongyang with "fire and fury".

Trump's rhetoric toward North Korea has sparked criticism.

But it's not the same talk of impending crisis you hear from politicians on the United States mainland, a place where Guam is rarely seen on the news.

In order to ensure that the USA maintains its position as the pre-eminent Pacific superpower and maintains its ability to defend its island territories and the West Coast, Mr. Trump should consider targeted strategic investment in the region.

It's not the first time North Korea has threatened Guam, which is a crucial, strategic hub for USA forces in the Pacific. The U.S. Army also operates two TPY-2 radar facilities used for monitoring North Korean missile tests at the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force bases at Kyogamisaki and Shariki in northern Japan.

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

A giant North Korean flag, left, atop a 160-meter (525-foot) tower in North Korea and a South Korean flag, right, atop of a 100-meter (328-foot) tower in South Korea, flutter in the wind as pictured from the border area between two Koreas in Paju, South Korea, Friday, Aug. 11, 2017.

Guam was claimed by Spain in 1565 and became a US territory in 1898 during the Spanish-American War. They threatened USA, other countries, and they threaten Guam.

PACAF said the aircrews practiced intercept and formation training, enabling them to enhance their combined capabilities and tactical skills, while also strengthening the long standing military-to-military relationships in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. However, Guamanians are still not allowed to vote in the USA presidential election.

About 40 percent of Guam's residents are Chamorros, the name for the native people. Japan selected the U.S. Air Force's KC-46A Pegasus tanker in 2015. "About 162,000 people - mostly USA citizens - call the island home". "We know that any moment, they could send those (weapons). but I think a lot of us in the end are not too anxious".

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.

Later on Friday, investors will look to U.S. July consumer price data for hints on the Federal Reserve's policy outlook and near-term moves in the dollar.

A plan to fire four ballistic missiles into the stunning blue waters off the coast is being prepared for Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un by mid-August, state media reported Thursday.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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