Governor Eddie Calvo of Guam said, on Wednesday, that North Korea’s warning of a possible missile strike on the US Pacific territory was no threat.
Calvo said the island was prepared for “any eventuality”, with defences strategically placed to protect its people.
“Guam is American soil … We are not just a military installation,” Calvo said.
Calvo said in an online video message he had contacted the White House and had been told by the defence and homeland security departments there was no change in the threat level.
He said he would convene a meeting with Guam’s military commander and first responders to discuss their state of readiness.
North Korea said it is considering plans for a missile strike on the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, just hours after President Donald Trump told the North that any threat to the United States would be met with “fire and fury”.
The sharp increase in tensions rattled financial markets and prompted warnings from U.S. officials and analysts not to engage in rhetorical slanging matches with North Korea.
Pyongyang said it was “carefully examining” a plan to strike Guam, which is home to about 163,000 people and a U.S. military base that includes a submarine squadron, an airbase and a Coast Guard group.
A Korean People’s Army spokesman said in a statement carried by state-run KCNA news agency the plan would be put into practice at any moment once leader Kim Jong Un makes a decision.
North Korea also accused the U.S. of devising a “preventive war” and said in another statement that any plans to execute this would be met with an “all-out war wiping out all the strongholds of enemies, including the U.S. mainland”.
Washington has warned it is ready to use force if needed to stop North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs but that it prefers global diplomatic action, including sanctions.
The UN Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Saturday.
Trump issued his strongest warning yet for North Korea in comments to reporters in New Jersey on Tuesday.
“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” Trump said.
Pyongyang says its intercontinental ballistic missiles are a legitimate means of defence against perceived U.S. hostility, including joint military drills with South Korea.
The U.S. has remained technically at war with North Korea since the 1950 to 1953 Korean conflict ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty. (NAN)