Guam Governor plays down N. Korean missile attack threat

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Hagatna, Aug 9 (IANS) The Governor of the US territory of Guam on Wednesday downplayed the threat from North Korea after Pyongyang said it was making plans to attack the US military bases on the Pacific island.

“I want to reassure the people of Guam that currently there is no threat to our island or the Marianas,” Governor Eddie Calvo was quoted as saying by Efe news.

Calvo added he has already discussed the matter with White House and military officials.

“An attack or threat on Guam is a threat or attack on the US. They have said that America will be defended,” Calvo said.

Guam is an unincorporated territory of the US located about 3,400 km southeast of North Korea. The Marianas islands are located north of Guam.

North Korea is “now carefully examining the operational plan for making an enveloping fire at the areas around Guam with the medium-to-long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12,” a spokesperson for the North Korean military said in a statement published by the state news agency KCNA.

US Andersen Air Force Base on Guam hosts the nuclear-capable B-1B strategic bombers, which the US sent back to the Korean Peninsula on Tuesday.

“The US Department of Defense is monitoring this situation very closely,” Guam Homeland Security Adviser George Charfauros said in a statement, adding that he trusted the defense system deployed against the threats.

North Korea’s statement was released just hours after US President Donald Trump warned that if Pyongyang does not stop threatening the US, it “will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen”.

Pyongyang previously condemned the latest package of sanctions imposed by the UN over its weapons programmes and threatened to take “physical actions” against the US.

The UN sanctions were adopted in response to North Korea’s first intercontinental ballistic missile test fired on July 4 and a second intercontinental projectile tested on July 28.

–IANS

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