By Olivia HAMPTON / Agence France-Presse
President Donald Trump on Saturday reassured Guam it was safe amid mounting regional tensions, vowing that American army forces “stand ready” to safeguard the US Pacific island territory towards a belligerent North Korea.
The North has threatened to fireside ballistic missiles over Japan towards the tourism-dependent idyllic island, as Pyongyang and Washington ratchet up their confrontation.
With Guam’s security within the stability, Trump assured the territory’s Governor Eddie Calvo: “We are with you 1000 percent, you are safe.”
A member of Trump’s Republican Party, Calvo insisted throughout the two males’s name that “I have never felt more safe or so confident with you at the helm,” based on his workplace.
“We’re going to do a great job, don’t worry about a thing,” Trump then added. “They should have had me eight years ago, or somebody with my thought process.”
Trump has warned the North that it could “truly regret” attacking the US, and that the US army is “locked and loaded.” Earlier this week, he threatened “fire and fury.”
The North’s official KCNA information service, for its half, accused Trump in an editorial of “driving the situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of a nuclear war,” calling the US “the heinous nuclear war fanatic.”
Key Pyongyang ally Beijing, in the meantime, has pleaded with Trump to tone down his rhetoric to forestall tensions from boiling over.
– Public warning system –
If North Korea does launch a missile strike, there’s a public warning system in place and a 14-minute window to react, Guam Homeland Security mentioned.
On Friday, it posted tips on its web site about measures to soak up the occasion of a nuclear assault.
“Expect to stay inside for at least 24 hours unless otherwise told by authorities,” the advisory warned.
“If caught outside, do not look at the flash or fireball — It can blind you. Take cover behind anything that might offer protection. Lie flat on the ground and cover your head.”
It additionally supplied recommendation on eradicating radioactive fallout, telling residents to “take a shower with lots of soap and water,” use shampoo however keep away from conditioner “because it will bind radioactive material to your hair.”
– Typhoons scarier than Kim Jong Un –
And but tourism officers are leaping on the unusually excessive consideration to the territory as a chance to draw extra guests to the island of 162,000 folks that pulls greater than 1.5 million vacationers a 12 months.
“The circumstances are unfortunate but this is a good opportunity for us to educate the world about Guam and our culture, about where we are, and who we are,” Guam Visitors Bureau advertising director Josh Tyquiengco informed AFP.
“Guam is more than a military base. We are a safe family destination. We reassure potential visitors that we continue to be a safe… place to visit.”
He mentioned there had solely been a couple of reserving cancellations from South Korea.
And island dwellers say they concern a strong hurricane greater than the wrath of North Korean chief Kim Jong Un.
“Kim Jong Un is as crazy as typhoons but I am more scared of typhoons because they are real threats,” mentioned Rolando Zepeda, 57, a instructor at Saint Anthony’s School.
Calvo, who famous that this isn’t the primary time North Korea has threatened the island, bluntly informed Guam residents to easily conduct their every day enterprise “as usual.”
Guam hosts two US army installations and 6,000 US troopers — making it a lovely goal for the North.
“United States forces stand ready to ensure the safety and security of the people of Guam, along with the rest of America,” the White House mentioned in a abstract of Trump’s name with Calvo.
In an earlier name, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly informed Calvo: “We are all over this… The wonderful island of Guam is very well protected.”
Pyongyang has mentioned it could take lower than 18 minutes for a missile to cross the three,400-kilometer (2,100-mile) distance to the US territory.
In addition to the US army bases, Guam can also be outfitted with the delicate THAAD weapons system which is able to destroying intermediate-range missiles within the ultimate section of flight.
Officials, nevertheless, have sought to brush off fears and say there was no change within the risk stage for now.(AFP)