Pyongyang doubled down on its threats to launch missiles at Guam early on Thursday, announcing a potential plan on state media for the "simultaneous fire of four Hwasong-12 (rockets)".
North Korea says it is in the final stages of preparing a plan to launch four intermediate-range ballistic missiles over Japan and into waters off the tiny island of Guam, where about 7,000 USA troops are based and 160,000 US civilians live.
Guam residents say that if given the choice they would rather face the wrath of "crazy" Kim Jong Un than the power of a typhoon, as they count down towards a threatened North Korean missile attack.
Guam, a 210-square-mile island, is a USA territory in the Pacific Ocean. The tree snakes have become huge pests and have wiped out numerous local birds and reptiles, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
"(The North has) improved their missile launch capacity, but that's neither here nor there", he said.
If North Korea launches missiles on Guam, it would take only about 14 minutes for the rockets to reach the U.S. territory, the island's Homeland Security spokeswoman announced. "Tensions will probably escalate for the time being, given the confrontational personalities of Kim Jong Un and Trump".
Former President Clinton squats as he examines the names of World War II war dead on a wall at the War in the Pacific National Historical Park on the island of Guam in 1998. But it wasn't known until now that the contacts have continued, or that they have broached matters other than USA detainees.
Related: Why is North Korea threatening Guam? Residents do not pay USA income taxes or vote in the general election for US president.
Altogether, 7,000 US military personnel are stationed on Guam.
Some 42,800 FIlipinos live in Guam, which is home to a US military base and sits approximately 2,500 km away from the Philippines.
About 40 percent of Guam's residents are Chamorros, the name for the native people.
Trump has vowed to protect the western Pacific island and in a call to Guam Governor Eddie Calvo on Saturday "reassured" him that "United States forces stand ready to ensure the safety and security of the people of Guam, along with the rest of America". It has seen various popular movements pushing for greater self-government or even USA statehood, most notably a significant but failed effort in the 1980s to make it a commonwealth on par with Puerto Rico.
In addition to the military presence, Guam also relies heavily on tourism to boost its economy, attracting more than 1.5 million visitors drawn to its pristine beaches and luxury resorts in 2016. Since the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898, the largest and southernmost island in the Mariana Islands archipelago has been an essential part of USA power projection.
An A-10 Thunderbolt attack aircraft readies for takeoff at a United States air base in Osan, South Korea, 10 Aug 2017.
The U.S. took control of Guam in 1898, when Spanish authorities surrendered to the U.S. Navy.