JRM reassures Guam
THREATS from North Korea came yesterday after its leader Kim Jung Un again threatened Guam and other U.S. bases situated in the Pacific region.
The dictator’s threats came on the heels of drills between South Korea and the United States perceived to be in preparation for a pre-emptive attack on North Korea.
Citing the Korean Central News Agency, Reuters reported Kim Jung Un as saying “that if the enemies, oblivious of the tremendous might of the KPA, make even the slightest movement, he will give an order to destroy not only the military installments and puppet reactionary ruling institutions in the operational theater in South Korea, but the relevant facilities of countries following the U.S. war moves for invading the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), and the military bases of the U.S. imperialist aggression forces in the operational theatre of the Pacific.”
The North's supreme military command spokesman was quoted by the KCNA mentioning Guam specifically. "The United States is advised not to forget that our precision target tools have within their range the Andersen Air Force base on Guam where the B-52 takes off, as well as the Japanese mainland where nuclear-powered submarines are deployed and the navy bases on Okinawa."
Lt. Matt Knight, public affairs officer of Joint Region Marianas, said, "The Department of Defense fully intends to defend the United States and its territories from any ballistic missile attack.”
Knight added the United States maintains a range of ballistic missile defense capabilities that could be deployed in Guam's defense in times of crisis.
U.S. military leaders, however, would not disclose any specific information about the defense plans currently in place.
Despite confidence in DOD's abilities, local leaders expressed concern about North Korea’s threats.
Sen. Frank Aguon Jr., chairman of the Committee of Homeland Security, said although he has the utmost confidence in the U.S. military’s capabilities, government leaders should remain vigilant.
“These circumstances justify the need, more than ever, of an imperative American military presence over the Pacific,” Aguon said. He adds that “fearmongering” should not be taken lightly and he will continue to work with the national government.
“We’re concerned as we should be,” said Mark Calvo, governor’s director for the military buildup. “We’re certain that the U.S. Department of Defense will provide an adequate response, real or verbalized.”
Calvo added Guam Homeland Security is in contact with JRM and will issue any necessary notice on a need-to-know basis.
Concern over North Korea heightened late last week after it conducted a rocket test in December and a nuclear bomb test in February.
Early last week, the U.S. announced more defenses against potential missiles from North Korea.
Both Gov. Eddie Calvo and Aguon had sent letters to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, urging him to consider Guam in any defense plans.
However, no formal responses have been received.
JRM reassures Guam