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How to survive a nuclear attack, explained by Guam officials

How to survive a nuclear attack, explained by Guam officials

North Korea on Thursday called U.S. President Donald Trump's bluff with detailed plans to surround the U.S. territory of Guam in the Pacific Ocean in "enveloping fire".

After decades of living peacefully, Guam authorities are urging their citizens to be prepared for an "imminent" missile attack from North Korea after the rogue state threatened to unleash "enveloping fire" at the small island sitting 9,700km from the USA mainland.

Here's a look at the USA military's role on the island, which became a US territory in 1898.

North Korea warned that they are finalizing a plan to fire four Hwasong-12 missiles over Japan and into waters around Guam. But if the US military is preparing for a major conflict, there is little evidence of it. Things that would indicated increased risk include growing US military deployments to the region or a North Korean satellite launch, for example; on the other hand, indicators of reduced risk include evidence of unofficial talks or signs of smaller-scale or delayed joint U.S.

North Korea dismissed Trump's recent threat of '"fire and fury" as a "load of nonsense".

Trump made his latest comments on North Korea during a pair of televised media events.

It's not the first time North Korea has threatened Guam, which is a crucial, strategic hub for US forces in the Pacific.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday that while it is his responsibility to have military options, the US effort is focused on diplomacy and the Trump administration is working with its allies on a diplomatic solution. Now, about 160,000 people live on Guam. Now the US mainland is in range of North Korean missile attacks and this makes the current situation very different from previous periods of tension.

"I'm pro military buildup", said resident Gus Aflague, 60, whose grandfather and brother both joined the U.S. Navy.

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To that end, Trump said he "of course" would always consider negotiations with North Korea, but added that talks have failed for the last 25 years.

The silver lining, in Burger's view, is that people in the mainland United States now know more about his adopted home - an island that was a Spanish colony before the U.S. took control in 1898. But, the turmoil present in the current USA administration and apparent lack of restraint in formulating a cohesive response do introduce new challenges to coming back down, even if the interests of both sides haven't changed. Residents do not pay US income taxes or vote in the general election for USA president.

The Pentagon now has 28,500 troops from the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy stationed in the South.

PACAF said the aircrews practiced intercept and formation training, enabling them to enhance their combined capabilities and tactical skills, while also strengthening the long standing military-to-military relationships in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

In Guam's capital Hagatna, residents were unruffled by Pyongyang's rhetoric.

"They believe that we are not true USA citizens, when we do have plenty of Chamorro people going into the USA military and serving for their country and dying for their country", he said. "And not a lot of Americans know that".

August 8: Meanwhile, North Korea successfully creates nuclear warhead to fit inside missiles.

In August a year ago, the North's Foreign Ministry warned that all USA military bases in the Pacific including Guam would "face ruin in the face of all-out and substantial attack" by the North's military.

He did not elaborate on Guam's defences but the island houses two United States military installations, and is also armed with a sophisticated weapons system known as THAAD, which can destroy short, medium and intermediate-range missiles in their final phase of flight.


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