Guam shrugs off North Korea threat - taking it in stride

Guam issues fact sheets preparing residents for a nuclear attack

Guam issues fact sheets preparing residents for a nuclear attack

In the latest development, Gen. Kim Rak Gyom, who heads North Korea's rocket command, said in a statement carried by state media that his country was "about to take" military action near Guam. State-run media ensures that the population gets the North Korean side of the story, but doesn't convey any sense of global concern about the situation. "I feel it would be a pretty stupid idea to do that", she said. But pushing the envelope, or just threatening to do so, is what North Korea does best.

In response, President Donald Trump has warned North Korea repeatedly that if it takes such action, the US will hit back.

Watch Room staff monitor news and updates and coordinate with agencies on local in an event of emergency Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017 as Guam Homeland Security opens its 24-hour Watch Room operation in response to the threats from North Korea, in Hagatna, Guam. 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.

Baumgartner, a supervisor at a high-end clothing store, said she was confident USA forces on the island's two bases were ready to intervene, and she bore no grudges about that military presence making Guam a North Korean target. He said: "We are with you a thousand percent".

Asked later by reporters to explain the remark, Trump said: "Those words are very, very easy to understand". "We think that lots of good things could happen, and we could also have a bad solution", he said.

North Korea this week announced a detailed plan to launch a salvo of ballistic missiles toward the U.S. Pacific territory, which is a major military hub and home to U.S. bombers. Pyongyang says it will be ready to send its missile launch plan to Kim for approval just before or as the drills begin.

The exercises are expected to run from August 21-31 and involve tens of thousands of troops on the ground and in the sea and air. Trump, responding to a report that USA intelligence indicates Pyongyang can now put a nuclear warhead on its long-range missiles, vowed to rain down "fire and fury" if challenged.

"I'm pro military buildup", said resident Gus Aflague, 60, whose grandfather and brother both joined the U.S. Navy. In another assessment, the officials reportedly said that the United States calculated last month that Pyongyang possessed up to 60 nuclear weapons. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there is no military solution, adding that "an escalation of the rhetoric is the wrong answer".

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. "Perhaps she is referring to Germany".

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