Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

CNMI governor backs Trump's stance on North Korea

CNMI governor backs Trump's stance on North Korea

But residents are increasingly anxious over Washington's escalating war of words with North Korea.

Clarissa Baumgartner, a 25-year old Guam resident, said Pyongyang's second threat in as many days to train its ballistic missiles on Guam wasn't something she was taking too seriously.

Like other USA territories, Guam has a sometimes complicated relationship with the US mainland but many across the island say despite the threats and concerns they feel reassured and protected by the military - especially in times of tense, geopolitical sparring.

"Definitely, I know Guam is a pretty good target because it's important to the US because of the military", she said.

"Obviously for our administration and for the people of Guam, there is concern and worry", Calvo said.

"Things will happen to them like they never thought possible, OK?"

The possibility of a nuclear confrontation is considered remote but worldwide alarm has been escalating in recent days.

North Korea's bold threat includes "several places they can stop or give up", Carlin said. "I don't see North Korea's story having any impact on tourism at this point". Their location in a USA territory means its military is just hours from potential flashpoints in the western Pacific.

North Korea did not threaten Guam with a nuclear attack, but the crisis between Pyongyang and the United States has stirred fears that of nuclear conflict in the region.

A boy plays near the World War II remnants of a torpedo at Asan Memorial Park on the island of Guam.

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Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said there are two scenarios that could trigger war with North Korea.

The other? "If they attack Guam or some other American interest", Graham said.

Calvo responded by saying he feels safe and confident with Trump's leadership: "I'm glad you're holding the helm, sir". The 163,000 residents that make up Guam's population, which includes 6,000 US service members, are considered USA citizens. Guam was also a refueling and transfer spot for people heading to Southeast Asia, and many refugees fleeing Saigon were evacuated through Guam. President William McKinley ordered Guam to be ruled by the U.S. Navy.

Resident Isaac Camacho, 19, says he feels Guam's relationship with the USA mainland is "a little misunderstood on their part". "About 162,000 people - mostly U.S. citizens - call the island home".

Its population is mostly Roman Catholic and about a third are Chamorro, descendants of the indigenous people Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan first encountered in 1521. "And not a lot of Americans know that".

Homeland Security spokeswoman Jenna Gaminde has previously told the media that Guam residents would be immediately alarmed by sirens from the All-Hazards Alert Warning System located across the small Pacific island in case North Korea delivers its promise to strike Guam "within two weeks".

North Korea has threatened to send four Hwasong-12 ballistic missiles over Hiroshima, Shimane and Kochi to target Guam, a US Pacific territory. The two bases combined house 7,000 US troops.

The small US island, which has been caught in the middle of an explosive war of words between President Donald Trump and North Korea, advises its citizens on how to survive an "imminent" missile attack from nuclear-armed Pyongyang.

If any of these commands detect a threat, it then moves to a quick decision about shooting down the missile with any number of missile defense systems that may be in the target area. Jennifer Sinco Kelleher in Honolulu and Jocelyn Gecker in San Francisco contributed reporting.

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