Guam: The paradise island that hosts nuclear bombers and is in North Korea's cross-hairs




 

The apparently sudden threat by North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, of a missile strike on the Pacific holiday paradise island of Guam is not as obscure as it first sounds.

The remote 210-square mile island in the western Pacific Ocean, known for its white beaches and crystal blue waters, is also a strategic US military outpost and host to nuclear bombers and at least 6,000 US service members.

On Monday night, two US B-1 bombers flew from Guam over the Korean peninsula, joining the South Korean and Japanese airforces in joint exercises that were bound to have riled Pyongyang, which over the weekend accused America of devising a "preventive war."

The exercises are one likely reason why North Korea, located roughly 2,100 miles away to the northwest, selected the island as a potential target shortly after President Donald Trump vowed "fire and fury like the world has never seen" in response to Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme.

The North's state-run Korean Central News Agency reported on Tuesday that the pariah nation's military may send a strong message that it can neutralise military assets on the US territory.

Pacific Air Forces command, based in Hawaii, upped the rhetoric shortly afterwards, declaring "US ready to fight tonight" on its official Twitter account, linking to details of Monday's ten hour sortie.

"How we train is how we fight and the more we interface with our allies, the better prepared we are to fight tonight," said a B-1 pilot, quoted in an official press release. "The B-1 is a long-range bomber that is well-suited for the maritime domain and can meet the unique challenges of the Pacific."

The tense stand-off puts Guam, and its population of just over 160,000, at the centre of one of the world's most volatile flashpoints.

American military bases, including the sprawling Andersen Air Force Base and the Naval Base Guam, occupy nearly 30% of Guam's land.

The island, which was captured by the US from Spain in 1898 during the Spanish-American war, is America's most western territory but it is not a state.

It has a seat in the US House of Representatives, currently occupied by Democrat Madeleine Bordallo, and it is run by an elected governor, Eddie Baza Calvo.

Guam's citizens, 40% of whom are comprised of the Chamorro ethnic group, are American citizens by birth.

Chamorros first settled the island about 4,000 years ago but over the past 400 years Guam has been ruled by Spain, the US and Japan.

Located in the Micronesia region of the Pacific, it is positioned just over 3000 miles from both Sydney and Hawaii.

The territory's tropical climate, with an average temperature of 28 degrees Celsius, makes it a popular location for tourists.

At a glance | Guam

COMMENTS

More Related News

CIA chief remains coy about of Kim Jong-un 'vanishing' - but admits spy agency will be 'more vicious'
CIA chief remains coy about of Kim Jong-un 'vanishing' - but admits spy agency will be 'more vicious'

The US Central Intelligence Agency thinks that North Korea's Kim Jong-un is a rational actor who is focused on staying in power and "waking up in his own bed" each day. But if Mr Kim should suddenly not show up for work, well, don't ask US spy chief Mike Pompeo about it. "With respect to, if Kim Jong-un should vanish, given the history of the CIA, I'm just not going to talk about it," the CIA director said on Thursday, when asked what would happen if Kim suddenly died. "Someone might think there was a coincidence. 'You know, there was an accident.' It's just not fruitful," he said to laughs from a Washington audience full of national security officials. The...

CIA chief: if Kim Jong-Un should disappear... uh, let
CIA chief: if Kim Jong-Un should disappear... uh, let's not talk about it

The US Central Intelligence Agency thinks that North Korea's Kim Jong-un is a rational actor who is focused on staying in power and "waking up in his own bed" each day. "With respect to, if Kim Jong-Un should vanish, given the history of the CIA, I'm just not going to talk about it," the CIA director said Thursday, when asked what would happen if Kim suddenly died. 'You know, there was an accident.' It's just not fruitful," he said to laughs from a Washington audience full of national security officials.

Ending Iran nuclear deal would worsen North Korea situation: Kerry
Ending Iran nuclear deal would worsen North Korea situation: Kerry
  • World
  • 2017-10-19 21:28:40Z

By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump risks driving Iran toward nuclear proliferation and worsening a standoff with North Korea if Washington ends a nuclear deal with Iran, former Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday. Kerry, who negotiated the 2015 nuclear deal

North Korea Attack Survival Guide Published as Manga
North Korea Attack Survival Guide Published as Manga

"We decided to release the manga after hearing from our residents that the current manual is hard to understand," a Hokkaido official said.

North Korea Tells U.S. to Expect 'Unimaginable' Strike
North Korea Tells U.S. to Expect 'Unimaginable' Strike

The latest threat comes as the U.S. and South Korea hold joint naval drills.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.