Guam a pawn in US-North Korea confrontations - academic

A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense interceptor being launched from a THAAD battery

On Wednesday, North Korea said it was "carefully examining" plans for a missile strike on the US Pacific territory hours after US President Donald Trump told the North that any threat to the United States would be met with "fire and fury".

Some 42,800 FIlipinos live in Guam, which is home to a US military base and sits approximately 2,500 km away from the Philippines.

The U.S. planes, which were created to carry nuclear bombs and later switched to conventional payloads, followed up the drills with Japan with a separate exercise with South Korean Forces, the ASDF said.

The S&P 500 volatility index jumped again on the latest jawboning in the US-North Korea standoff.

A social media post stating a commanding officer briefed military personnel on a North Korea missile attack is false.

Guam: Small But Important Piece of US Territory in Pacific
Guam a pawn in US-North Korea confrontations - academic

Guam has been a major base for USA military aircraft since World War II. Their location in a US territory means its military is just hours from potential flashpoints in the western Pacific.

Ellsworth B-1s were last deployed to Guam in August 2016, when they took over continuous-bomber-presence operations from the B-52 Stratofortress bomber squadrons from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, and Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. It was also used as a transit point for evacuating Vietnamese refugees.

Resident Isaac Camacho, 19, says he feels Guam's relationship with the USA mainland is "a little misunderstood on their part".

North Korean state media reported on Thursday plans for the strike would be ready by mid-August and will await the orders of the "commander-in-chief of the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) nuclear force", understood to be Kim Jong Un. Pyongyang is only 3,380 kilometers northwest of Guam, putting it within a feasible striking distance.

For years, North Korea has claimed Guam is within its missiles' striking distance, making furious statements each time when the USA flew powerful bombers from the island's air base to the Korean Peninsula. The B-1s then performed a pass over the Pilsung Range before leaving South Korean airspace and returning to Guam. In 2013, state media cited leader Kim Jong Un as having ordered his military to prepare plans on launching strikes on US military bases in Guam, Hawaii and South Korea as well as the American mainland.

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