North Korea threatens strike on Guam

Xavier Trudeau
Août 12, 2017

He saw North Korea's statement as a warning to Washington that its missiles could reach targets in the region, rather than one of an actual attack.

If the missiles landed within 40 kilometers (25 miles) of Guam, as threatened, according to UN law, they would fall within the United States' exclusive economic zone although not their territorial waters.

President Donald Trump on Friday again delivered a warning to North Korea, tweeting that the USA military is "locked and loaded" if the isolated rogue nation acts "unwisely", escalating an exchange of threats between the nuclear-armed nations.

However, its most recent statements suggest that North Korea is taking a more aggressive stance - suggesting that it might attack before the United States has a chance to strike.

Kim Jong Un's regime is threatening to fire a missile to land near Guam, the American territory in the Pacific Ocean that is home to two huge US military bases, by the middle of this month. Here are five things you might not know about the territory.

Pyongyang's initial threat to Guam came after the United States flew two B-1B bombers over the Korean peninsula on Tuesday local time. But, the turmoil present in the current US administration and apparent lack of restraint in formulating a cohesive response do introduce new challenges to coming back down, even if the interests of both sides haven't changed. Located on the northeast side of the island, the Air Force base retains a fleet of B52 bombers and fighter jets. Pyongyang has laid out plans to strike near the US territory of Guam. As a result, Guam's economy relies heavily on the U.S. Armed Forces, which owns a third of the island. The tourist district of Tumon, home to many of Guam's hotels and resorts, is in between. Japan seized it for about 2? years during World War II. The U.S. took control of Guam in 1898, when Spanish authorities surrendered to the U.S. Navy. Spain officially handed over the land under the Treaty of Paris. "That brings him more in line with Mattis and with longstanding US policy, not to initiate hostilities but to respond with great force if attacked".

That same year, Congress passed the Organic Act of Guam, giving Guamanians American citizenship. Residents do not pay USA income taxes or vote in the general election for US president. Guam elects a delegate to the U.S. House, but that delegate isn't allowed to vote on a bill's final passage. Altogether, 7,000 US military personnel are stationed on Guam.

"I take projections of casualties of thousands to tens of thousands quite seriously and that's just in South Korea - it's possible North Korea could attack Japan as well". Hawaii is about 4,000 miles (6,500 km) to the east.

Guam is the southernmost island in what is known as the Mariana Archipelago and the largest island in Micronesia. Now, about 160,000 people live on Guam. About 24 percent are Filipino, 18 percent identify as several races, 7 percent are white, and 10 percent are of other Micronesian descent. Its chief languages are English and Chamorro. Three weeks later, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage was legal throughout the U.S., including all its territories.

A married gay man carries the rainbow and USA flags at a celebration rally in West Hollywood, California, following the 2015 Supreme Court decision on marriage equality.

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