Saturday, 19 August, 2017

North Korea Warns Of Preemptive Missile Strikes Against Guam

Getty Images Getty Images
Howard Terry | 10 August, 2017, 00:28

Residents of the US territory Guam say they're afraid after being caught in the middle of rising tensions between President Donald Trump and North Korea.

In a televised address to the 162,000 residents on the Western Pacific island, Governor Eddie Calvo said Guam was working with Washington "to ensure our safety".

The tiny Pacific Ocean island is a US territory 2,200 miles southeast of North Korea with about 160,000 residents and an Air Force base, a Navy base and a Coast Guard station.

Security and defence officials on Guam say there is no imminent threat to people there or in the Northern Mariana Islands after North Korea said it was examining its operational plans for attack, reports AP.

Guam's homeland security adviser, George Charfauros, urged calm and said defenses were in place after North Korea is reviewing plans to strike USA military targets in Guam with its medium-range ballistic missiles to create "enveloping fire", according to the state media Korean Central News Agency.

This serves as the first mission for the crews and aircraft recently deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, in support of U.S.

US Air Force B1B bombers, based at Guam, have flown over the Korean peninsula.

My Homeland Security adviser, who is in communications with Homeland Security and Department of Defense, notes that there is no change in threat level resulting from North Korea events.

Two U.S. Air Force B-1B bombers under the command of the U.S. Pacific Air Forces joined their Japanese and South Korean counterparts on Monday in flying 10-hour strategic bilateral missions from Guam's Andersen Air Force Base, with American fighter pilots "ready to fight tonight".

Guam is home to thousands of United States service personnel and key military bases. An attack or threat to Guam is a threat or attack on the United States.

Madeleine Bordallo, Guam's delegate to the US Congress, said North Korea's nuclear capabilities were "deeply troubling" but she was confident the island was safe and protected.

Two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers and two Japanese F-2 fighter jets took part in the drills, which were held near Japan's southern Kyushu island, according to a news release from Japan's Air Self Defense Force (ASDF).

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