Guam stays calm, dismisses North Korea threat

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Guam stays calm, dismisses North Korea threat

The tiny US territory of Guam feels a strong sense of patriotism and confidence in the American military, which has an enormous presence on the Pacific island.

North Korea's declarations come after US President Trump threatened North Korean threats would be met with "fire and fury".

Benjamin J. Cruz tells The Associated Press in a telephone interview, "We're just praying that the United States and the. defense system we have here is sufficient enough to protect us".

At the end of last week, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted new sanctions on North Korea - the single largest sanctions package on it so far - because of the recent intercontinental ballistic missile tests of the Kim Jong-un regime. But residents are increasingly anxious over Washington's escalating war of words with North Korea.

A nuclear expert who has repeatedly visited North Korea's nuclear facilities says he doubts the country is yet capable of attacking the USA territory of Guam with medium- to long-range missiles.

Aircrews, maintenance and support personnel will continue generating B-1 bomber sorties to demonstrate the continuing US commitment to stability and security in the region, providing commanders with a strategic power-projection platform and fulfilling the need for aircraft that are mission-ready at any time, an important part of national defense during a time of high regional tension, Pacific Air Forces officials said.

"It appears to mean an operation to put Guam under siege to block the deployment of USA strategic assets in and out of the island", a South Korean Defense Ministry official said. Their location in a US territory means its military is just hours from potential flashpoints in the western Pacific.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says North Korea is reckless, provocative, risky and a threat to peace.

"I want to ensure that we are prepared for any eventuality".

Like other Guam residents, Ms. Sokala has been inundated with text messages from friends on the "mainland" - islanders' term for the continental USA - asking how she was doing.

In Guam's capital Hagatna, residents were unruffled by Pyongyang's rhetoric.

This appears to mean an operation to block the deployment of United States strategic assets on the island, according to South Korean officials. From there, they flew over the Korean Peninsula and joined by South Korean Air Force KF-16 fighter jets before returning to Guam.

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

"The way our infrastructure is built - an 8.3 quake a decade ago, powerful typhoons - they are well-equipped to coordinate both pre-event and also post-event", he said.

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