North Korea threat shines spotlight on Guam as drills wrap up

North Korea threat shines spotlight on Guam as drills wrap up

GUAMEX 2017, an anti-submarine exercise conducted by the US, Japan and New Zealand off the coast of Gaum, ends today.

Photo: Wikimedia

Photo: Wikimedia

GUAMEX 2017, an anti-submarine exercise conducted by the US, Japan and New Zealand off the coast of Gaum, ends today.

Guam has been at the centre of international headlines this week after North Korea claimed a plan to unleash a salvo of four ballistic missiles on America’s westernmost territory would be finished within the next few days.

The island contains nuclear and conventional long-range bombers that would be critical in a US strike against North Korea. Washington has staged numerous flyovers of the Korean Peninsula from Guam. If Pyongyang were to fire its intermediate range missiles, they would likely be shot down by Japan’s Aegis defence system or the US’ THAAD, which is stationed on Guam.

While Japan and South Korea would likely disapprove of a retaliatory military strike on the hermit kingdom, it is unclear if the US’ tempestuous president would heed their cautions.