Guam shrugs off North Korea threat - taking it in stride

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The small USA territory of Guam has become a focal point after North Korea's army threatened to use ballistic missiles to create an "enveloping fire" around the island.

Hours earlier, as North Korea's war of words with US President Donald Trump intensified, Pyongyang said it was developing a plan to launch four intermediate-range missiles towards the Pacific island.

"Our office will be notified from the military and will utilize all forms of mass communication to get the message out to the public".

"If you hear the sirens, tune into local media - radio, print, television - for further instructions", the spokeswoman added.

Baumgartner, a supervisor at a high-end clothing store, said she was confident US forces on the island's two bases were ready to intervene, and she bore no grudges about that military presence making Guam a North Korean target.

Japanese stocks were flat in choppy trade on Thursday morning as geopolitical concerns over North Korea's threats of missile strikes receded. "Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!" The North said four of the missiles would hit waters 30 to 40 kilometers (18 to 24 miles) from Guam.

The US stationed some of its atomic weapons in the South following the 1950-53 Korean War, but withdrew them in 1991 when two Koreas jointly declared they would make the peninsula nuclear-free. Washington and Seoul say they're meant as a deterrent against North Korean aggression.

While the governor of Guam shrugged off the North's missile warning and said there was no heightened threat, the government has issued a preparedness fact sheet.

A giant North Korean flag, left, atop a 160-meter (525-foot) tower in North Korea and a South Korean flag, right, atop of a 100-meter (328-foot) tower in South Korea, flutter in the wind as pictured from the border area between two Koreas in Paju, South Korea, Friday, Aug. 11, 2017.

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"If it does happen, OK, it happens, but I just try not to really think about it", Martinez told CNN.

"It's just like setting off fireworks because most of their guided missiles just crash midway through flight", she said.

Tokyo will also need tanker support for its F-35A Joint Strike Fighters flying air-defense suppression missions and even strike missions deep inside North Korea.

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".

One day after threatening the North with "fire and fury", Trump took to Twitter and boasted about the strength of United States nuclear weapons and improvements he said had been made to the nukes on his watch.

"It's gotten progressively worse over the last 20 years", Peterson said. But residents are increasingly anxious over Washington's escalating war of words with North Korea. Peterson said he reserves judgment, stating that everyone responds differently to a bully.

Park, a potential presidential candidate, expressed clear opposition to the North's nuclear program. "The DPRK should cease any consideration of action that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people".

"We keep closely watching the speech and behavior of the USA", read a military statement carried by official state-run media. An attack or threat on Guam is a threat or attack on the United States.

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