Xi calls for calm after Trump says United States is 'locked and loaded'

Claudine Rigal
Août 14, 2017

South Korea and the United States are ready to respond if North Korea carries out its threat to fire missiles into waters around the US territory of Guam, the Defense Ministry said Monday.

Asked about Trump's tough posture, Guam Governor Eddie Calvo said he agreed with sending a clear message to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who has ramped up his country's tests of missiles and nuclear bombs.

The tiny USA territory of Guam feels a strong sense of patriotism and confidence in the American military, which has an enormous presence on the Pacific island.

In World War II it was known as the "warehouse of the Pacific" for its logistical role in supporting the island-hopping campaign against Japan and it was from nearby Tinian island that the Enola Gay took off to drop its atomic payload on Hiroshima.

"The powerful revolutionary Paektusan army of the DPRK, capable of fighting any war the USA wants, is now on the standby to launch fire into its mainland, waiting for an order of final attack", it said.

He later retweeted a posting from U.S. Pacific Command that showed B-1B Lancer bomber planes on Guam that "stand ready to fulfill USFK's #FightTonight mission if called upon to do so".

Homeland Security spokeswoman Jenna Gaminde told the Guam Daily News that in the event of an attack, residents would be immediately notified by sirens from the All-Hazards Alert Warning System located throughout the island.

But the Guam Daily Post said in an editorial that although the island's residents were used to North Korea's threats, the situation was more precarious today because "a feisty, not-so-cool-headed commander-in-chief lives in the White House now". "So I think it's important to be very strong". China is the North's biggest economic partner and source of aid, but says it alone can't compel Pyongyang to end its nuclear and missile programs. "The plan is under consideration, then it's supposed to be handed to Kim Jong Un, then he'll make a decision", Carlin said. -South Korea exercises later this month that North Korea, now finalizing plans to launch a salvo of missiles toward Guam, claims are a rehearsal for war.

While it is extremely unlikely that Pyongyang would risk the assured annihilation of its revered leadership with a pre-emptive attack on US citizens, some residents of Guam are concerned. The island is also home to a large USA military presence, a fact that has led to tension with some local residents, particularly those of the indigenous Chamorro community.

Trump's comments came a day after he warned North Korea that any threat to the United States would be met with "fire and fury".

Kim Jong Un and North Korea's leaders use the threat of U.S. attacks to justify the country's military-first mantra and the high costs associated with it. Citizens are told to tighten their belts to protect their national sovereignty and security.

"We are prepared for any eventuality, more so than any other American community", he said.

At a meeting at the 50th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Regional Forum (ARF), Ri stressed that North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missiles were under no circumstances on the negotiating table, adding that the country will not "flinch even an inch" from further developing its nuclear arsenal unless the United States ditches its hostile policy toward the regime.

"Obviously for our administration and for the people of Guam, there is concern and worry", Calvo said.

As a precaution, Japan deployed missile defense batteries under the path a North Korean missile might take. Most recently, in March 2013, North Korean military officials made a statement about Andersen Air Force Base being within "striking range". "We know that any moment, they could send those (weapons). but I think a lot of us in the end are not too anxious".

"(The North has) improved their missile launch capacity, but that's neither here nor there", he said. "North Korea broke the denuclearisation agreement a long time ago".

Instead he promised to respond to the next provocation from North Korea with what many assumed to mean nuclear force.

But now Kim has publicly crossed Trump.

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