Saturday, 21 October, 2017

Guam residents feel patriotism but worry grows

A US B-1B bomber flies over Korea along with a South Korean F-15K fighter A US B-1B bomber flies over Korea along with a South Korean F-15K fighter
Marlene Weaver | 11 August, 2017, 06:39

North Korea said on Wednesday it is considering a strike on the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, hours after President Donald Trump said any threat from Pyongyang would be met with "fire and fury".

Like other Guam residents, Ms. Sokala has been inundated with text messages from friends on the "mainland" - islanders' term for the continental US - asking how she was doing.

About 160,000 people live on the island, which extends about 12 miles at its widest. Andersen Air Force Base and Naval Base Guam house an estimated 13,000 military members and their dependents.

Others find the inevitable online jokes and dismissive comments about Guam particularly tasteless, given the situation.

Guam has been a USA territory since 1898, when Spain ceded it in the wake of the Spanish-American War.

The newfound attention also has sparked discussion about Guam's relationship with the United States as well as messages of support.

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Ellsworth's 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron deployed to Guam late last month.

"North Korea has always threatened other countries".

Naval Base Guam is an outpost for USA fast-attack nuclear powered submarines.

"I'm pro-military buildup", said resident Gus Aflague, 60, whose grandfather and brother both joined the U.S. Navy, according to the report.

Guam is armed with the U.S. Army's defense system known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, which can intercept missiles. "I feel safe with our military presence here - Andersen and the Navy". Tests of North Korea's own missile suggest that now, the island is within the range of Pyongyang. Jennifer Sinco Kelleher in Honolulu and Jocelyn Gecker in San Francisco contributed reporting.

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