Tuesday, 22 August, 2017

Trump speaks with Guam's governor in extremely candid phone call

Guam residents hold “people for peace” as about a hundred people gathered at Chief Kepuha Park in Hagatna Guam for a rally for peace Monday Aug. 14 2017. The U.S. territory has been the subject of threats from North Korea in its escalating war Trump speaks with Guam's governor in extremely candid phone call
Sammy Stanley | 14 August, 2017, 00:15

- President Donald Trump called the leaders of China and Guam Friday to offer assurances over growing tensions between North Korea and the United States.

He said North Korea had been "getting away with a tragedy that can't be allowed". Meanwhile, Russia, China and Germany voiced dismay at the escalating rhetoric from Pyongyang and Washington.

Although Guam hosts two USA military installations and 6,000 U.S. soldiers, making it the target of North Korea's wrath, tourism authorities are keen to dispel any impression of danger to the tranquil island and its secluded beaches. But officials in Guam, the tiny island territory that Kim Jong Un has threatened to attack, aren't keeping citizens in the dark.

The term "locked and loaded", popularised in the 1949 war film "Sands of Iwo Jima" starring American actor John Wayne, refers to preparations for shooting a gun.

But restraint was not the word of the day on Friday as Trump sent out a cascade of unscripted statements, including what appeared to be another red line - the mere utterance of threats - that would trigger a US attack against North Korea and "big, big trouble" for Kim.

"Hopefully it will all work out", he said. But we will see what happens. "Nobody loves a peaceful solution more than President Trump, that I can tell you ..."

Trump said he thought USA allies South Korea and Japan were "very happy" with how he was handling the confrontation.

The words followed an early morning tweet in which Trump declared the US military is "locked and loaded" if the isolated rogue nation acts "unwisely".

North Korea on Thursday announced a detailed plan to launch a volley of ballistic missiles toward the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, a major military hub and home to U.S. bombers.

Guam is home to a strategically located USA. air base, a Navy installation, a Coast Guard group and roughly 6,000 United States. military personnel. State-run media ensures that the population gets the North Korean side of the story, but doesn't convey any sense of global concern about the situation.

Governor Eddie Calvo describes his island to those who don't know it as a "mini Hawaii" and puts the chances of a direct missile hit at a million-to-one because of the multi layers of Pacific defences, the last being those on Guam itself.

About a hundred people gather at Chief Kepuha Park in Hagatna Guam for a rally for peace Monday Aug. 14 2017. The U.S. territory has been the subject of threats from North Korea in its escalating war of words with the U.S. President Donald Trump’s
Trump speaks with Guam's governor in extremely candid phone call

But he declined to say whether the United States was considering a pre-emptive military strike, arguing that his administration never discusses such deliberations publicly.

South Korea has long anxious about being sidelined in worldwide diplomacy meant to persuade the North to abandon its nuclear ambitions. President Trump complimented Governor Guam on the beauty of the territory as well. He gave no details and did not make clear whether he meant unilateral or multilateral sanctions.

KCNA said on Wednesday a mass rally was held in Pyongyang to support the government. Good morning. I just wanted to pay my respects and we are with you 1,000.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has called a meeting of European Union member states next week to discuss what action they will take regarding North Korea.

"A 2012 study by the American Security Project, a research group in Washington, said that Guam's military installations were among the five most vulnerable American ones worldwide to coastal erosion, extreme weather, rising sea levels and other projected climate change impacts", the Times reported. "We still hope and believe that common sense will prevail".

The president called the USA military "incredible, "rock solid" and "the best in the world by a factor of five".

Amid the heated words, South Koreans are buying more ready-to-eat meals that could be used in an emergency and the government is planning to expand nationwide civil defense drills planned for on August 23. Hundreds of thousands of troops and huge arsenals are arrayed on both sides of the tense demilitarized zone between the two Koreas.

If carried out, it would be its most provocative missile launch to date.

The United Nations this month tightened sanctions on Pyongyang after it tested two ICBMs created to carry nuclear warheads to the United States.

U.S. financial markets took the rhetorical escalation in stride on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.07 percent while the S and P 500 gained 0.13 percent and the Nasdaq Composite firmed 0.64 percent. I think it's important to be strong, but at the same time be calm.

He told reporters that the meaning of his tweet was "pretty obvious".

One of Uber's biggest investors is suing Travis Kalanick for fraud
Uber , on the other hand, expressed its disappointment in Benchmark, citing the possibility of an argument between its investors. The complaint, which was filed in DE court, accuses Kalanick of "fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty".

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