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

Guam 'well-equipped' to handle North Korean threat: governor

Guam 'well-equipped' to handle North Korean threat: governor

Tension in the region rose when North Korea staged two nuclear bomb tests past year and increased further when it launched two intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests in July in defiance of world powers. State-run media ensures that the population gets the North Korean side of the story, but doesn't convey any sense of worldwide concern about the situation.

"I don't see a military solution and I don't think it's called for", Merkel said Friday, calling on the U.N. Security Council to continue to address the crisis. After the attack, which North Korea has said it would take less than 18 minutes to reach the island, authorities advise Gambians to steer clear of areas marked "radiation hazard" or "HAZMAT" as well as all damaged areas.

US and South Korean military officials plan to move ahead with large-scale exercises later this month that North Korea, now finalizing plans to launch a salvo of missiles toward Guam, claims are a rehearsal for war.

With all the sabre-rattling of North Korea and the prospect of the waters off Guam becoming a new testing ground for its intermediate-range missiles, the people of this tiny U.S. Pacific territory seem to be taking things in their stride. USA allies Japan and South Korea quickly vowed a strong reaction if the North were to follow through.

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Military officials say they plan to move ahead with large-scale U.S. Trump said. He did not specify what they might be.

"The powerful revolutionary Paektusan army of the DPRK, capable of fighting any war the USA wants, is now on the standby to launch fire into its mainland, waiting for an order of final attack", it said. 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 feel that the presence of the military on Guam will help us a lot", said Virgie Matson, 51, a resident of Dededo, Guam's most populated village. In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged Pyongyang and Washington to sign up to a previously unveiled joint Russian-Chinese plan under which North Korea would freeze missile tests and the United States and South Korea would impose a moratorium on large-scale military exercises.

Called Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, the exercises are expected to run from August 21-31 and involve tens of thousands of American and South Korean troops on the ground and in the sea and air. In another assessment, the officials reportedly said that the United States calculated last month that Pyongyang possessed up to 60 nuclear weapons. "On Thursday, Trump reiterated complaints about the USA trade imbalance with China and said he would feel "differentl" about the trade issue if China helped more on North Korea. "Perhaps she is referring to Germany".

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