Why This Tiny US Island Is North Korea's Newest Target

North Korea Threatens to Target 'Areas Around Guam' With Ballistic Missiles – 'To Neutralize It'

This story has been corrected to show that the North Korean announcement came Wednesday in Guam due to the worldwide date line.

North Korea raised the tension level in the region on August 9 when the Kim Jong-Un regime said it is considering a missile strike on the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

Another key base on Guam is the U.S. Navy's submarine base at Apra Harbor.

After North Korea's initial threat against Guam, the territory's Homeland Security Advisor George Charfauros told CNN he was confident of their defense systems.

"Everyone is going about doing the same routine, but everyone is talking about the threat", Josie Sokala, who lives in the village of Mangilao on the eastern shore of Guam, said in a message. "They have said that America will be defended".

Still, early Thursday, she found herself unable to sleep. He would lash out militarily, at a minimum against South Korea, and potentially at long-range targets, perhaps including Guam. It has a population of around 163,000 - comparable to a small city in the Midwest.

Despite North Korea's threat against Guam this week, she says folks are keeping their cool. It is approximately 5,852 miles from San Francisco, but only 2,118 miles from Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. But it is as steeped in USA culture as any small city on the mainland - even if shoppers at its Kmart (the biggest in the world) can look outside and see a lush Pacific island setting. Guam features some of the largest, most sophisticated military bases outside the continental United States, and the island territory would be critical in any military action taken against North Korea.

The plan would be to launch heavy B1-B bombers from Guam's Andersen Air Force Base, limiting the flight time.

It is home to 6,000 U.S. military personnel, a number expected to nearly double when thousands of U.S. Marines move there from Japan, under a delayed bilateral agreement aimed at reducing the U.S. military footprint on southern island of Okinawa.

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It comes as President Donald Trump says North Korea "will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen" if it makes any more threats to the U.S.

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.

The archdiocese also asked Catholics to "pray that the Holy Spirit will instill in the leaders of our country and all nations the virtues of wisdom and understanding to promote peace rather than war". Calvo stressed in a statement that there was no imminent threat to the safety of residents or visitors. Today, Naval Base Guam is the home port for four nuclear-powered fast attack submarines and two submarine tenders.

"There's been a lot of rhetoric coming out", Calvo said at a news conference Wednesday.

The Times cited a 2007 study by the University of Guam Marine Laboratory that estimated the economic value of Guam's coral reefs to be $2 million per square kilometer, or 0.4 square mile, and almost $15 million per square kilometer at a 2,153-foot area "known for its diving and snorkeling sites".

Guam's congresswoman, Madeleine Z. Bordallo, also weighed in.

Officials in Hawaii, meanwhile, say they are working on how to warn its 1.4million residents in the event of an attack.

The island hosts a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, which is used to shoot down ballistic missiles. It will be carried out in a "multi-concurrent and consecutive way" upon Kim Jong-un's order.

"Our governor assures us that this threat is nothing to panic about, and we trust him", Sokala said.

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