Guide to Guam: Why Is It a Target?
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Guide to Guam: Why Is It A Target?

Guide to Guam: Why Is It a Target?

All eyes are on Guam, a tiny isolated US territory in the western Pacific Ocean.

It has been made a target by North Korea, with Pyongyang saying it's examining its operational plans for attacking Guam.

The announcement came after Donald Trump’s statement that North Korea would be met with "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if it continued to make threats.

The rise in tensions are amid reports that the reclusive communist state now able to strike the US with a nuclear missile.

Where is Guam?

Guam is just over 2100 miles from Pyongyang and is located in the western Pacific Ocean.

It has an area of 212 square miles, making it America’s 32nd largest island.

US Military in Guam

The island is known as America’s ‘permanent aircraft carrier’.

At the moment there is around 6,000 military personnel permanently based there.

In 2009 plans were announced to increase the military presence on Guam by over 9,000.

The two biggest military installations are Naval Base Guam and the Andersen Air Force Base – together forming the Joint Region Marianas.

Among other US Pacific Fleet naval units, Naval Base Guam is home to Los Angeles-class submarines and the submarine tender USS Frank Cable.

Andersen Air Force Base is one of America’s four bomber forward operating locations.

Yesterday, two B-1B Lancers took off from Andersen Air Force Base for a 10-hour mission, flying in the vicinity of Kyushu, Japan, the East China Sea, and the Korean peninsula.

Two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, prepare to take off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam

Who Lives in Guam?

Guam has a population of 162,742 (2016).

It is a US territory but is run by an elected governor.

Guamanians cannot vote for president of the United States, but do have a delegate to the House of Representatives and vote for party delegates in primaries.

The largest ethnic group are the native Chamorros (37.3% of the population in 2010), closely followed by Filipino (29.3%).

The official languages are English and Chamorro.

Why Does America Own Guam?

Guam was owned by Spain for almost 400 years but was occupied by the US in the 1898 Spanish-American War as part of the Treaty of Paris.

During the Second World War, it was occupied by the Japanese for around 31 months.

The US fought the Battle of Guam to retake the island in 1944.