by Ryan Pickrell · August 8, 2017
North Korea warned Wednesday it is considering plans for a possible strike on U.S. military forces in Guam, but the island is unfazed by the latest developments.
“The [Korean People’s Army] Strategic Force is now carefully examining an operational plan for making an enveloping fire at the areas around Guam,” the Korean Central News Agency, Pyongyang’s state-run media outlet reported Wednesday, suggesting that North Korea is making plans for a possible conflict scenario, not necessarily an imminent attack.
“I remain confident that Guam remains safe and protected,” Rep. Madeleine Bordallo, the delegate from the U.S. territory of Guam to the U.S. House of Representatives, said in a statement in response to North Korea’s threats. “I want to reiterate that Guam remains safe, and I am confident in the ability of U.S. defenses to protect our island and allies in the region.
For the time being, there have been no discussions regarding the relocation of military dependents from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, the Office of the Secretary of Defense explained to The Daily Caller News Foundation. There are no evacuation procedures for the rest of the island either. Sen. Will Castro of the Guam legislature revealed to TheDCNF that it would take a disaster on a massive scale for the U.S. to consider evacuations.
North Korea regularly threatens U.S. bases (sometimes more than once a week) and has even practiced bombing them in military drills.
The launch of four extended-range Scuds into the East Sea/Sea of Japan in March was a North Korean training exercise — a preparation for an attack on U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, where the U.S. military has a squadron of F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter’s stationed.
North Korea threatened last November to “put the aggressor forces’ bases in the theaters of Pacific operations into a nuclear nightmare.”
While it is true that North Korea’s missile technology has significantly improved in recent months, the North’s Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile, the weapon it would use to strike Guam, has only been tested successfully one time, indicating that it is likely not ready for combat operations. The U.S. also has several missile defense systems operational in the area, including the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system, which has a perfect test performance record.
Some observers, however, would like to see increased missile defense in the area as the North Korean threat grows.
“The real questions that need to be asked are ‘What is the US Congress doing to strengthen the Marianas and protect its civilian population outside of the fence (or non-base residents) in the event of a successful strike?’ and ‘Does the US Congress value it US citizens on Guam as much as it does the properties that host its military arsenal?” Castro explained to TheDCNF. “If ‘yes’ then more needs to be done to help harden critical infrastructure to protect innocent civilian lives right here on Guam.’”
“We join people throughout the world in praying for peace,” the Legislature of Guam Speaker Benjamin J.F. Cruz’ office said in a statement to TheDCNF.