Government, military officials: no immediate threat to Guam - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Government, military officials: no immediate threat to Guam

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Island residents woke up to headlines all over the globe that North Korea is looking at the possibility of launching a missile aimed at Guam. Many here on the island received phone calls and messages from others elsewhere concerned about what's going on.

And that threat early today follows President Donald Trump's announcement hours earlier warning North Korea that any threat to the United States would be met with "fire and fury".

Stay calm and carry on - that's the message from Governor Eddie Baza Calvo in response to concerns over a possible missile strike from North Korea. "I've gotten assurances from all levels, both local command and Washington, DC that this island will be defended," reassured Guam governor Eddie Calvo. "And the United States military has their forces ready to protect and defend not only Guam but all American interests in this region and the homeland."

The island's chief executive said this after speaking with officials from the White House, National Security Agency, and the commander of Joint Region Marianas - Rear Admiral Shoshana Chatfield. "There is a lot of rhetoric that is going on right now, both by the North Korean leader and also by some of the reports that are coming out in national and international media," he said. "But to this point, it has been made very clear to me that the defenses of this island and the perceived threat, there has been no change of status."

Meanwhile, JRM public affairs officer Greg Kuntz maintained the military is prepared for any situation. He told KUAM, "We always maintain a high state of readiness and have the capabilities to counter any threat." Adjutant General Brigadier General Roderick Leon Guerrero added, "The Guam National Guard stands ready to provide trained and ready personnel and equipment in the event of any federal or local emergency."

"We will be having this constant communication with the local command and also with the federal government if anything changes," the governor commented. "And that's something I commit to the people and commit to the media - we're going to get information in real time, and once we get it, we'll get it to you folks."

But what if a missile strike were to actually happen? Guam Homeland Security Advisor George Charfauros said missile defense systems are in place to protect the island, including the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system at Andersen Air Force Base. The Department of Defense has reported the THAAD can shoot down long range ballistic missiles and has a 100 percent accuracy rate to date.

Said Calvo, "That capability still exists and the condition of that is highly ready, so that's one missile system. The other, right around the sea of Japan they have the Aegis war ships, that is also part of the national missile defense."

With all the defense capabilities in place, Charfauros said there is a 0.00001% chance of a missile reaching Guam. However, Calvo will be convening the Unified Coordination Group, which includes rear admiral Chatfield, to further discuss the readiness of federal and local first responders.

We are also hearing from Guam's lawmakers. Senator Frank Aguon Jr. stating, "Readiness is the key here- it is basically the military's ability to fight and win wars," adding, "Are we ready to defend and protect the people of Guam from any threat in the region?  We are Ready!"

In the meantime, Senator Mike San Nicolas stated, " The personal safety of the people if Guam is no more at risk yesterday than it is today, and into the future. We must not allow these threats to achieve their purpose. We must demonstrate in our resolve that Guam is not only safe, but fearless."

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