Tourist-heavy Guam unmoved by North Korea threats

Tourists frolic along the Tumon beach on the island of Guam. Source: Reuters

SINCE North Korea’s military declared on Thursday it was considering a plan to fire four intermediate-range missiles close to the US territory of Guam, the people of the tiny island seem to be taking things in their stride.

According to Reuters, there was little sign of panic from people on the tourist-heavy island. Clarissa Baumgartner, a 25-year old Guam resident, told Reuters the threats – the second of its kind in two days – wasn’t “something she was taking too seriously”.

“I’m not really too worried about it. I feel it would be a pretty stupid idea to do that,” she said.

Meanwhile, Baumgartner, a supervisor at a high-end clothing store, said she was confident US forces would intervene if things got out of hand.

“Definitely, I know Guam is a pretty good target since it’s important to the US because of the military,” she said. “I’m pretty confident the US will protect us. It makes me feel pretty good.”

According to the Korean Central News Agency, as quoted by South Korean news agency Yonhap, the nation is “seriously examining the plan for an enveloping strike at Guam through simultaneous fire of four Hwasong-12 intermediate-range strategic ballistic rockets in order to interdict the enemy forces on major military bases on Guam and to signal a crucial warning to the US”.

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Tensions between the two countries have risen markedly in the last few days after North Korea warned the US of a “severe lesson” following United Nations action against it. President Donald Trump, in turn, warned any threats to the US from North Korea would be met with “fire and fury.”

North Korea dismissed on Thursday Trump’s warnings as a “load of nonsense,” and that only “absolute force can work on him.”

Additional reporting by Reuters