Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Could N. Korean missile threats lose them China as an ally?

At Mosa's Joint in Guam island residents and military personnel fill up the bar for Thursday happy hour At Mosa's Joint in Guam island residents and military personnel fill up the bar for Thursday happy hour
Howard Terry | 13 August, 2017, 01:05

North Korea announced Thursday that the nation has a detailed plan for a missile strike near Guam using four intermediate-range ballistic rockets.

On a tiny island in the western Pacific, about 7,000 US military personnel and their families are in the middle of the increasingly tense confrontation with North Korea.

On Friday, Trump tweeted that "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely".

If North Korea fires missiles toward Guam, they would take about 14 minutes to reach the island, said Guam Homeland Security spokeswoman Jenna Gaminde.

During the Vietnam War, the Air Force sent 155 B-52 bombers to Guam to hit targets in Southeast Asia. But residents are increasingly anxious over Washington's escalating war of words with North Korea.

Spain claimed Guam in 1565, more than 40 years after Ferdinand Magellan landed on the island. Since the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898, the largest and southernmost island in the Mariana Islands archipelago has been an essential part of USA power projection.

"If the USA and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so".

Andersen Air Force Base houses a Navy helicopter squadron and Air Force bombers that rotate to Guam from the USA mainland, including the B-2 stealth bomber, B-1 and B-52. Pyongyang has laid out plans to strike near the USA territory of Guam.

The Japanese don't have any other land-based missile defense systems, but have been looking into purchasing the THAAD missile interceptor, which the United States deployed to South Korea earlier this year.

While experts estimate the consequences and economic impact of an imminent USA vs North Korea war, some Guamanians are stockpiling essentials to survive while taking shelter if Pyongyang makes good on its promise to strike the island.

Carl Peterson, president of Money Resources Inc., serves on the Guam Chamber of Commerce's Armed Forces Committee, expressed confidence in the USA military's defense capabilities.

"North Korea has always threatened other countries". In the past it has threatened US allies. The 163,000 residents that make up Guam's population, which includes 6,000 US service members, are considered USA citizens. Just forcing the U.S.to talk would in itself be a success for North Korea. Spain's colonial rule continued until the US took control in 1898 during the Spanish-American War. President William McKinley ordered Guam to be ruled by the U.S. Navy. The U.S. took back control of Guam on July 21, 1944.

Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, estimated the risk of a military conflict between the US and North Korea as "very high", and said Moscow was deeply concerned.

The official languages of Guam are English and Chamorro, which means 'noble.' It's a Malayo-Polynesian language that has incorporated Spanish words over time.

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