Guam on Edge After North Korea Threat

Pastor says God is on Trump's side
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2017 3:57 AM CDT
Updated Aug 9, 2017 6:30 AM CDT
N. Korea Threat Rattles Guam Residents
The launch of the Hwasong-12 missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea.   (KRT via AP Video, File)

North Korea has threatened to use missiles to create "enveloping fire" around Guam—and while residents of the American territory are used to hearing Pyongyang mention Guam, they are understandably a little on edge. Residents tell the AP that they are worried about being caught in the middle of the escalating tensions between Washington and Pyongyang. "If anything happens, we all got to be ready, be prepared, and pray to God that it doesn't happen," says resident Daisy Mendiola, 56. "Everyone's afraid, because we're dealing with powers that's beyond us." In other developments:

  • Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo said he had been in touch with the White House and there is no change in the threat level, Reuters reports. He said defenses are in place for "any eventuality." "Guam is American soil," he said in an online video message. "We are not just a military installation."
  • Madeleine Z. Bordallo, Guam's delegate to the US House of Representatives, said she is working to make sure Guam remains safe and she wants President Trump to avoid "concerning and unhelpful" rhetoric, the Telegraph reports. "Kim Jong Un's reckless behavior cannot be tolerated, and I strongly urge the president to explore every avenue to peacefully respond to it and avoid further escalating this situation," the Democrat said.

  • A North Korean military spokesman warned Wednesday that as well as "carefully examining the operational plan" to strike Guam, the military is prepared for "all-out war, wiping out all the strongholds of enemies, including the US mainland" if any attempt is made to attack the North, the Guardian reports.
  • Trump threatened the North with "fire and fury like the world has never seen"—and one of his evangelical advisers says God is on the president's side. "The Bible, in the book of Romans, is very clear: God has endowed rulers full power to use whatever means necessary—including war—to stop evil," Texas pastor Robert Jeffress tells the Washington Post. "In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un."
  • Analysts tells the New York Times that Trump's harsh language echoes that of the North Koreans. Former George W. Bush adviser Peter Feaver says the "jingoistic" tone puts Trump on a "risky" path, though it is in keeping with the president's tendency to upend established diplomacy. "They may be saying, 'Look, we have a 30-year record of bipartisan failure on this issue, so let’s flip the script and give North Korea a bit of its own medicine and see if we can get a different result,'" he says.
  • The BBC looks at "tiny but important" Guam: The US territory has a population of around 163,000, with military bases covering around a quarter of its territory, housing around 6,000 troops.
  • CNN reports that Trump's "fire and fury" threat was criticized by lawmakers from both parties, with Sen. John McCain warning that "you've got to be sure that you can do what you say you're going to do." "The great leaders I've seen don't threaten unless they're ready to act and I'm not sure President Trump is ready to act," he said.
(More North Korea stories.)

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