A Democratic congressman is urging House Speaker Paul Ryan to reconvene the House from its summer recess to consider legislation prohibiting a pre-emptive nuclear strike against North Korea.
What nuclear weapons does North Korea have?"Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!" For months, the belief was that North Korea was overplaying its ability to successfully "miniaturise" nuclear warheads, but a recent leaked report in the Washington Post points to evidence the nation has an estimated 30 to 60 nuclear warheads.
Threatened by North Korea earlier this week, the newly released fact sheet titled "Preparing for an Imminent Missile Threat" stirred the worst memories in WWII survivors who still live on the 50km-long island that serves as a key regional asset for the Pentagon.
The Defense Department owns about one-quarter of Guam's 212 square miles.
In 1993, it tested a medium-range ballistic missile, Nodong, based on Scud technology. "It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before".
The US reportedly has a plan for a preemptive strike on North Korean missile sites with bombers stationed in Guam, should Donald Trump order it. Its maximum takeoff weight can reach 216,000kg.
Guam is about 2,100 miles (3,380 kilometers) southeast of Pyongyang and 3,800 miles (6,115 kilometers) west of Honolulu in the Pacific Ocean.
As it stands, U.S. and Japanese missile defenses nearly exclusively work in test conditions. The "landmark" test of a Hwasong-14 missile was overseen by leader Kim Jong-Un.
Tough talk aside, The Associated Press reported Friday that talks between senior US and North Korean diplomats continue through a back channel previously used to negotiate the return of Americans held in North Korea.
While experts estimate the consequences and economic impact of an imminent USA vs North Korea war, some Guamanians are stockpiling essentials to survive while taking shelter if Pyongyang makes good on its promise to strike the island.
But shooting down the North Korean missiles would pose a huge risk for potentially little reward.
If any of these commands detect a threat, it then moves to a quick decision about shooting down the missile with any number of missile defense systems that may be in the target area. If carried out, it would be its most provocative missile launch to date.
Of these, the likeliest is when the missile is descending, or at its "terminal stage".
The U.S. has two strategically significant bases on Guam, Andersen Air Force Base in the north and Naval Base Guam in the south. Japan's anti-missile defence operation system deploys the navy's Aegis to bring down airborne missiles while the PAC-3 system is used to counter the projectiles evading these interceptors. The positions of warships are kept secret, but the United States and Japan could reposition its forces to defend the ocean close to Guam. The THAAD system can effectively deal with any missiles being fired towards the island. If US and Japanese interceptor missiles miss, and even one North Korean missile splashes down near Guam, missile defense has lost a huge amount of credibility and it looks like a big win for Pyongyang. There's also the risk that an attempt to shoot the missile down will fail, and undermine trust in defenses that are created to protect nations from bombardment, but have yet to be tested in full combat. If the United States or Japan successfully intercept the missile it could be taken as an act of war, prompting further military response.