President Donald Trump on Saturday reassured Guam it was secure amid mounting regional tensions, vowing that American military forces "stand ready" to safeguard the US Pacific island territory against a belligerent North Korea.
His comments came in response to North Korea's threat to fire ballistic missiles toward the USA territory of Guam, which is home to US strategic bombers, a naval station and other strategic assets. But residents are increasingly anxious over Washington's escalating war of words with North Korea.
Guam is a launching point for US strategic bombers that the North, virtually flattened by USA bombs during the 1950-53 Korean War, sees as particularly threatening.
Trump's declaration that North Korea will endure the "fire and fury" of the United States military arsenal was "one of the most bellicose remarks made in public by a U.S. president since the atom bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that were announced back in 1945", Asia political expert Keith Bennett told Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear on Wednesday. It launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile, for example, on July 4 - Independence Day in the United States.
August 8: Meanwhile, North Korea successfully creates nuclear warhead to fit inside missiles. To keep the situation from getting too much out of control, it needed to explain itself on the record to defuse complaints from China and make sure Washington knew it wasn't the opening volley of a Korean War 2.0.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently said the U.S. was ready to hold dialogue with North Korea if the reclusive state puts an end to its provocations.
Less than six years into his reign, Kim has tested more missiles than his father and grandfather combined, conducted three nuclear tests, and is racing to develop a nuclear-tipped missile that can hit the US mainland.More news: British model kidnapped and sold on dark web for £230000
For years, North Korea has claimed Guam is within its missiles' striking distance, making furious statements each time when the us flew powerful bombers from the island's air base to the Korean Peninsula.
Gaminde's remarks comes after North Korea announced earlier on Thursday that the nation has a detailed plan for a missile strike near Guam, where about 7,000 USA troops are stationed, using four intermediate-range ballistic rockets.
Faced with North Korean threats to launch medium-range ballistic missiles over Japanese airspace and toward Guam in coming days, Japan is scrambling to move four Patriot missile defense batteries to its western shores, defense officials in Tokyo announced Friday.
"The Hwasong-12 rockets to be launched by the KPA [Korean People's Army] will cross the sky above Shimane, Hiroshima and Koichi [Kochi] Prefectures of Japan", KCNA said, quoting army chief General Kim Rak Gyom, as cited by BBC News.
If the missiles make it past Japan and approach Guam, the THAAD system on the island would be able to pick them up and target them in their descent phase over the ocean.
"He has been very threatening beyond a normal state, and as I said they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before", Trump said at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. "Now they've telegraphed it", he told Reuters in an interview.
"Kim Jong Un is as insane as typhoons but I am more scared of typhoons because they are real threats", said Rolando Zepeda, 57, a teacher at Saint Anthony's School.
"Obviously, these are provocative actions aimed against security of our country and the worldwide community".