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Why Is Guam So Important to US, North Korea, and the World?

Why Is Guam So Important to US, North Korea, and the World? Read Transcript


In the current international chess game between Washington,

D.C. And North Korea, the island of Guam has become a pawn.

Some may see it as a Pacific paradise,

but Guam may better be described as the tip

of the spear of U.S. defense.

[NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

This became clear, especially after the communist dictator

announced in detail his plan to launch four ballistic missiles

towards the U.S. territory by mid-August.

Guam's proximity to North Korea, and its importance

to America's Pacific defense capabilities,

have also left it vulnerable.

Guam's advantage was that it is in their theater,

but then it is not right in the middle of the theater.

In studying the Pacific region, Yuki Tatsumi

sees our military force as important as Guam's location.

On the island, about 160,000 call it home.

That includes 7,000 U.S. military personnel,

nuclear subs and ships, plus strategic bombers

at Andersen Air Force Base.

Despite the threats, many islanders

feel assured and protected by the military.

It's actually been scary since yesterday.

So, we're trying to plan out if there's

an emergency, and things like that.

ERIK ROSALES (VOICEOVER): This isn't

the first time Guam has been threatened since the U.S. took

control in 1898.

During the Vietnam War, the Air Force

sent 155 B-52 bombers there to hit targets in Southeast Asia.

Guam was also used as a refueling and transport spot,

as well as a path for evacuations,

such as when the refugees fled Saigon in 1975.

In 2013, Kim Jong Un requested military plans

for strikes on U.S. bases in Guam, Hawaii, and South Korea,

but took no action.

Then again, last August his foreign minister

warned all U.S. Pacific bases, including Guam,

that they would face a substantial attack.

But again, no action was taken.

Tatsumi says it's all up to Kim Jong Un.

But--

We have seen North Korea changes its behavior

when China gets really serious.

The level of a sanction that we have imposed on North Korea,

both through UN Security Council,

and unilaterally, through international financing,

we really don't have a whole lot of economic leverage

to punish them.

But China continues to hold that.

It's important to note that Guam is equipped with the U.S.

Army's anti-missile defense system known as THAAD,

which has been tested and retested successfully,

to bring down and intercept missiles.

That protection layer, along with the U.S. military,

might go a long way in keeping the ongoing war

to just one of words.

Erik Rosales, CBN News, Washington.

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