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13 August 2017, 09:30 | Erica Roy
The tourist board is encouraging people to keep visiting Guam
President Donald Trump issued a new threat to North Korea on Friday, saying the USA military was "locked and loaded" as Pyongyang accused him of driving the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war and world powers expressed alarm. In 2013, state media cited leader Kim Jong Un as having ordered his military to prepare plans on launching strikes on US military bases in Guam, Hawaii and South Korea as well as the American mainland.
"Unfortunately, there seems to be no serious dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang, only threats, " he said.
North Korea made a similar threat a few years ago.
Trump tweeted Friday: "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely".
A drumbeat of threats by North Korea over the years has fostered a sense of resilience among the island's 162,000 inhabitants, whose lives are deeply intertwined with the U.S. military, which has 6,000 troops based there.
Asked later by reporters to explain the remark, "Those words are very, very easy to understand".
United States nuclear expert Siegfried Hecker, who has repeatedly visited North Korea's nuclear facilities, said he doesn't think North Korea now has weapons systems for "enveloping fire" around Guam, as it threatened.
After North Korea's second test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on July 28, South Korean President Moon Jae-in ordered a speedy deployment of the controversial U.S. THAAD anti-missile defence system, reversing his earlier decision to postpone it pending an environmental review. "Take cover behind anything that might offer protection".
Zhao Liang, a 35-year-old bank teller from Beijing, said she won't be cutting short her vacation over North Korea's latest missile threats.
"If it's going to happen it's going to happen", Loiue Joyce, a woman in her mid-20s, said of the North Korean threat, as she enjoyed a day of shopping.
"There is a growing fear that the escalating tension between North Korea and the United States, which matches power with power, could lead to a worst-case scenario", Ms. Choo said.
Many locals in Guam are confident in the protection afforded by the U.S. military.
"If the US and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so".
"I don't believe that there will be any significant altering of East Asian procurement strategies, despite the rhetoric emanating from North Korea, principally because for them the threat hasn't altered drastically", Reed added. He condemned the ICBM launch and said the North could guarantee its security only through "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization".
"I'm pretty confident that the USA will protect us". -South Korean military exercise, called Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, is expected to proceed as scheduled starting on August 21, said Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Logan, a Pentagon spokesman.
Amid the heated words, South Koreans are buying more ready-to-eat meals that could be used in an emergency and the government is planning to expand nationwide civil defence drills planned for on August 23. Inflammatory rhetoric on both sides will make that more likely.
"Since 2006, when North Korea first conducted its nuclear test, there wasn't this much response as people became immune to frequent missile launches and nuclear tests", said Mr Yoon Hee Yeul, the chief executive of Combat Ration, based in the south-eastern city of Daegu. It's created to destroy ballistic missiles during their final phase of flight.
Trump again cites 'military' option against North Korea
Trump dialed up the rhetoric early Friday, tweeting that the USA military is "locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely". Trump has long vowed to pressure China to rein in North Korea, particularly its rapidly advancing nuclear and missile programs.
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