Guam remains ‘calm’ despite North Korea’s threat of attack
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Guam remains ‘calm’ despite North Korea’s threat of attack

Children play in the sand on the beach in Tumon, Guam on August 10.

On August 9, Pyongyang announced it was `considering a plan to attack` Guam, a US overseas territory, in response to President Trump’s threat to vent his anger.

Tourists, mainly from Korea and Japan, still flock to Antonio B.Won Pat International Airport.

`Welcome to Land Zero,` the customs officer at the airport joked.

Obviously, everyone in Guam has heard about North Korea’s missile attack plan.

`I’m not saying we shouldn’t be worried… but in reality, Guam has a large amount of weapons, so all I can do is pray and believe that everything will be okay.`

`The people of Guam are not panicking. It’s not that I’m subjective or underestimating the situation,` Governor Eddie Calvo emphasized. `I understand the seriousness of the threats but I don’t want people to worry too much and become even more worried.`

Life still goes on

Guam remains 'calm' despite North Korea's threat of attack

Locals and American soldiers sat drinking at Mosa’s Joint on the island of Guam on the evening of August 10.

Late afternoon on August 10, at Mosa’s Joint, located in the downtown area, for just a few dollars, customers can drink beer and wine until 8pm.

Owner Monique Genereux pointed to the crowd happily chatting away in a drunken stupor and said the atmosphere reflected how most Guam residents feel at the moment.

`(North Korea’s threat) is of course a serious and scary problem. But you know, whatever happens, happens,` Ms. Genereux said, people are not at all confused.

`A couple just told me that if an attack happened and they only had 10 minutes to escape, they would spend those 10 minutes down at my bar and have a few drinks with everyone.`

Gary Hartz, a regular customer, commented that each local person has a different way of thinking about the current situation.

`There are people who think, ‘We just want peace, want life on this island to continue as gently as it is’. Some other people just feel tired and depressed because North Korea is threatening again.

As for this man, it seems that this recent threat is the most serious yet.

`In addition, I find our current President to be more assertive than previous presidents,` Hartz explained the escalating tensions.

Put your faith in military might

Guam remains 'calm' despite North Korea's threat of attack

Guam – the top target of North Korean missiles

Guam – the top target of North Korean missiles.

Many locals believe that the US military is capable of defending Guam from enemies.

With 1/4 of the island owned by the US military, Guam is home to many important military bases.

In addition to Andersen Air Force Base, the naval base on the island is a stop for nuclear submarines and a garrison for the US Coast Guard.

In 2013, the US government installed the THAAD terminal high-altitude missile defense system on the island.

`If it wants to cause trouble with Guam, North Korea will have to face an uncompromising war,` local resident Andrea Salas expressed confidence.

In a move to reassure the public, Governor Calvo said THAAD is the last layer of defense.

`There is also a THAAD system in South Korea. Between North Korea and Guam are many layers of defense at many different levels,` Mr. Calvo said.

Guam, with a population of nearly 163,000 people as of 2016, has experienced countless wars in its history.

`Japan occupied, Spain ruled. Americans came here because they coveted the island… Strategically, (Guam’s) geographical position is perfect,` said Mosa’s Joint owner Ms. Genereux

`And (because of that) we became cannon fodder.`

Guam remains 'calm' despite North Korea's threat of attack

North Korea’s plan to attack Guam.

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