Saturday, 21 October, 2017

Kim Jong Un doesn't need to strike Guam - he's already won

'North Korean missiles can reach Guam in 14 minutes' How to survive a nuclear attack, explained by Guam officials
Saul Franklin | 13 August, 2017, 01:06

Media in South Korea have started floating the idea that the country may have to develop nuclear weapons of its own, as fears escalate of a potential conflict with North Korea.

Spain claimed Guam in 1565, more than 40 years after Ferdinand Magellan landed on the island.

Six B-1B bombers, each capable of carrying up to 84 missiles, are stationed at Guam's military base.

Its two large USA military bases occupy about one-third of the island.

The escalating threats between the USA and North Korea have thrown the tiny US territory of Guam into the headlines. Three weeks later, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage was legal throughout the U.S., including all its territories. Guam officially became a USA territory in 1950 and was put under the administration of the Department of the Navy.

In playing cat-and-mouse not only with the United States but the entire democratic world, Pyongyang has once again pushed the envelop by targeting this time the tiny American island territory of Guam (population: 160,000), in the Pacific.

The U.S. military has said it plans to increase its presence on Guam and will move thousands of U.S. Marines now stationed in Japan to the island between 2024 and 2028.

"I don't see a military solution and I don't think it's called for", said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Padilla expressed confidence that there "is still a lot of room for dialogue" to thwart North Korea's plan, citing the presence of Pyongyang's foreign minister at the Asean meeting in Manila last week as a "positive sign". The military plans to move thousands of U.S. Marines to Guam from Okinawa in southern Japan.

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Some posters lament the lack of knowledge about Guam on the part of most USA residents.

There are two major bases on Guam: Andersen Air Force Base in the north and Naval Base Guam in the south.

Guam was claimed by Spain in 1565 and became a USA territory in 1898 during the Spanish-American War. President William McKinley ordered Guam to be ruled by the U.S. Navy. Guam was also a refueling and transfer spot for military personnel heading to Southeast Asia. The U.S. took back control of Guam on July 21, 1944.

North Korea's bold threat includes "several places they can stop or give up", Carlin said.

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.

The island is fair game for the North Korean leader because, for one, it is home to 6,000 or so American soldiers and other military personnel and, for another, Guam is a staging ground for United States stealth bombers that, according to a report, could be used to attack Pyongyang.

In August previous year, the North's Foreign Ministry warned that all US military bases in the Pacific including Guam would "face ruin in the face of all-out and substantial attack" by the North's military.

As tensions between North Korea and the U.S. continue to escalate it looks as though the secretive state could lose their closest political and economic ally - China - over leader Kim Jong-un's recent missile threats. Jennifer Sinco Kelleher in Honolulu and Jocelyn Gecker in San Francisco contributed reporting.

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