With all the sabre-rattling of North Korea and the prospect of the waters off Guam becoming a new testing ground for its intermediate-range missiles, the people of this tiny US Pacific territory seem to be taking things in their stride. If carried out, it would be the North's most provocative missile launch to date.
Tourism-dependent Guam is looking to cash in on its new-found fame as a North Korean missile target, tapping an unlikely promotional opportunity to attract visitors to the idyllic island and prove that all publicity is good publicity.
South Korea on Friday rejected North Korea's claim that 12 North Korean women, who defected to the South en masse past year, were forced to be married in the South to give a false impression of better settlement. The fact that both President Trump and Kim Jong Un share a leadership style that values unpredictability raises chances of misunderstanding and/or misperception.
On Thursday, Trump bolstered his warning to Kim about making any move against the Pacific island. Such a launch would nearly compel the United States to attempt an intercept and possibly generate further escalation. Use of indiscreet and threatening language and actions should be restrained. It generally couches its threats with language stating it will not attack the United States unless it has been attacked first or has determined an attack is imminent.
"While we have heard threats like this in the past, I take them very seriously and continue to engage with our DOD partners to ensure that Guam and our people remain safe", she said, adding that Trump's statements "concerning and unhelpful".
Following reports that US intelligence suggests the North might be able to pair a nuclear warhead with a missile capable of reaching targets on the United States mainland, President Donald Trump warned North Korea that "it faces retaliation with fire and fury unlike any the world has seen before".
Global stock prices slide Wednesday after President Donald Trump and North Korea traded threats over the North's nuclear program.
Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said it would be legal for Japan to intercept a missile aimed at Guam. It said the plan will be ready by the middle of this month and the personnel will wait for a launch order. But, the turmoil present in the current US administration and apparent lack of restraint in formulating a cohesive response do introduce new challenges to coming back down, even if the interests of both sides haven't changed.
North Korea has unleashed personal attacks on past Washington and Seoul leaders.
Guam is armed with the US Army's missile defence system known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, the same system recently installed in South Korea.
Despite North Korea's looming missile threat, it hasn't rattled many residents of Guam.
"While it is extremely unlikely that Pyongyang would risk the assured annihilation of its revered leadership with a pre-emptive attack on USA citizens, some residents of Guam are concerned".
Gaminde's remarks comes after North Korea announced earlier on Thursday that the nation has a detailed plan for a missile strike near Guam, where about 7,000 United States troops are stationed, using four intermediate-range ballistic rockets. It has expressed frustration with both Pyongyang's repeated nuclear and missile tests and with behaviour from South Korea and the United States that it sees as escalating tensions.
The commander of the KPA Strategic Forces also provided details on the flight path, distance and time of the KPA's planned missile strikes.
Washington, meanwhile, has been giving out mixed signals about its intentions. "That brings him more in line with Mattis and with longstanding US policy, not to initiate hostilities but to respond with great force if attacked". "Nothing that I have seen and nothing that I know of would indicate that the situation has dramatically changed in the last 24 hours".