North Korean tensions put Americans on tiny Guam in crosshairs

People in the tiny pacific island of Guam say they're afraid of being caught in the middle of escalating tensions between the U.S. and North Korea

People in the tiny pacific island of Guam say they're afraid of being caught in the middle of escalating tensions between the U.S. and North Korea

Guam residents should take cover from a North Korean missile attack quickly, in a concrete structure, preferably underground - and stay there until told otherwise, a survival guide advises. It's located 2,100 miles south of North Korea and 4,000 miles west of Hawaii.

While tensions typically spike around the dates of the exercises - North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test just days after last year's manoeuvrs - the situation generally calms afterward as the North needs to focus on its farms and the approach of the fall harvest.

It would also extend to installation of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system, now deployed in South Korea, or a US PAC-3 Patriot System, used in Israel.

Japan's missile defences include sea and land components.

After Trump's "fire and fury" threat heightened tension, average daily sales volume has been 250 bars, ranging in weight between 10 grams (0.35 oz) and 100 grams (3.5 oz), versus about 50 earlier, Song said, adding the trend would continue through August.

"All of this could lead to further militarization of South Korea", said Yang Uk, a senior research fellow at the Korea Defence and Security Forum.

Like other US territories, Guam has a sometimes complicated relationship with the USA 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.

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The same day a lawmaker of Russia's upper house of parliament, Viktor Ozerov, told Sputnik that Russian Federation had put on high alert its air defense systems in the country's Far East due to the escalation of the Korean crisis.

With its latest threat, North Korea is suggesting it could launch four missiles which could potentially overwhelm the THAAD missile defense system and strike near Guam.

Japan's Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Thursday that a missile attack on the US territory would breach the USA deterrence against an attack on Japan, which would be a national emergency because it threatens Japan's existence as a nation. "And we should be prepared too".

"North Korea has always threatened other countries".

Japan, anxious its ballistic missile defenses could be overwhelmed by swarm attacks or circumvented by warheads launched on lofted trajectories, is likely to acquire a ground-based version of the Aegis missile defense system.

There is a full interagency communication process during a North Korean missile launch which would involve command centers from the Pentagon, the intelligence community and major United States military commands overseas. "The focus will primarily remain upon bolstering defensive rather than offensive capabilities", said Reed Foster, a defense analyst for IHS Jane's.

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

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The possibility of escalation is made even more acute by the lack of any means of official communication across the Demilitarized Zone, though there has been no easing of the barrage of inflammatory comments in the USA and the North since new sanctions against North Korea were announced last week.

Commenting on the issue, Kim highlighted that the time has come for the U.S. and North Korea to meet at the negotiating table.

The forum members also urged North Korea to comply with obligations stated in the United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Reintroducing nuclear weapons remains an unlikely scenario, as that would undermine demands from Seoul and Washington for North Korea to abandon its nuclear programs.

In addition to the military presence, Guam also relies heavily on tourism to boost its economy, attracting more than 1.5 million visitors drawn to its pristine beaches and luxury resorts in 2016.

"Japan invaded us, the Spanish invaded us", Genereux says.

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