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No need to panic, Guam governor says after North Korea threat

By Ed Adamczyk
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No need to panic, Guam governor says after North Korea threat
A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer, assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, prepares to take off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, flying in the vicinity of Kyushu, Japan, the East China Sea, and the Korean peninsula, on Tuesday. Photo by Tech Sgt. Richard Ebensberger/U.S. Air Force/EPA

Aug. 9 (UPI) -- The governor of Guam reassured residents Wednesday after North Korea suggested the island as a possible target for a missile attack.

The tiny Pacific Ocean island is a U.S. territory 2,200 miles southeast of North Korea with about 160,000 residents and an Air Force base, a Navy base and a Coast Guard station. State media in Pyongyang mentioned an "operational plan for making an enveloping fire at the areas around Guam" on Wednesday, part of the conflict involving North Korea's capability of firing a missile at the United States.

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The comments came after President Donald Trump promised "fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which the world has never seen" should North Korea attempt to strike a U.S. territory with a missile.

George Charfauros, Guam's homeland security adviser, said the current defense system is capable of defending the island. He added that the THAAD, or Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System, is installed in the Pacific area by the United States to shoot down enemy missiles -- meaning "there is a .00001 chance of that missile getting through that layer."

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Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo said he discussed the situation with representatives of the White House, the National Security Agency, the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security.

"I know we woke up to media reports of North Korea's talk of revenge on the United States and this so-called new-found technology that allows them to target Guam," he said. " I want to reassure the people of Guam that currently there is no threat to our island or the Marianas. My Homeland Security adviser, who is in communications with Homeland Security and Department of Defense, notes that there is no change in threat level resulting from North Korea events ... Additionally, I have reached out to the White House this morning. An attack or threat to Guam is a threat or attack on the United States. They have said that America will be defended."

Some in Washington were critical of Trump's aggressive threat. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said in a radio interview that "You've got to be sure that you can do what you say you're going to do. The great leaders I've seen don't threaten unless they're ready to act and I'm not sure President Trump is ready to act."

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