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With North Korea threatening to send a salvo of ballistic missiles close to Guam, a US military hub in the Pacific, pressure could grow for Washington to put its multibillion-dollar missile defense system into use and shoot them out of the air.

On a tiny island in the western Pacific, about 7,000 USA military personnel and their families are in the middle of the increasingly tense confrontation with North Korea.

But when US President Donald Trump said the US would respond to the next North Korean threat with "fire and fury unlike the world has ever seen", he did not demonstrate similar forethought. And at the southern end, there's the Naval Base Guam that hosts the Submarine Squadron Fifteen and the USS Frank Cable.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said there are two scenarios that could trigger war with North Korea.

Spain claimed Guam in 1565, more than 40 years after Ferdinand Magellan landed on the island. The chilling two-page fact sheet details what citizens of the 162,000-populated island that houses 6,000 US troops should do to survive the worst outcome of the boiling tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.

Guam is the closest US territory to North Korea at a distance of approximately 2,130 miles. In a statement this week, Bordallo called North Korea's threat to target Guam "dangerous", saying she has discussed threats with Mattis and other defense leaders, who have "consistently reassured me that Guam is protected".

Trump's bluster, however, stands in stark contrast to an ongoing back channel for negotiations between the United States and North Korea, which came to light Friday.

The small Pacific island that belongs to the US has been sent back to the terrifying World War II days, when Guamanians (citizens of Guam) used to receive eerily similar fact sheets from authorities on how to stay safe during warfare.

Former President Clinton squats as he examines the names of World War II war dead on a wall at the War in the Pacific National Historical Park on the island of Guam in 1998.

The fourth C-130J Super Hercules arrived at Yokota Air Base, Japan, on Thursday, the US Air Force announced. Along with a bigger set of manoeuvrs held every spring, the exercises are routinely met by strong condemnation and threats of countermeasures from North Korea.

Guam is home to about 163,000 people and a USA military base.

There's a sense of patriotism among those who cite the island's history of Guam residents serving in the US military. Spain's colonial rule continued until the USA took control in 1898 during the Spanish-American War. The U.S. recaptured the territory three years later.

But there's also some resentment about not being able to vote in the general election for US president. In the past it has threatened USA allies.

Yoshihide Suga, Japan's chief government spokesman, said earlier this week that Tokyo "can never tolerate" provocations from North Korea and the country's military, will "take necessary measures". Chamorros are the indigenous people of Guam.


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