Expert reacts to latest North Korean threat of Guam attack

An aerial view of U.S. Naval Base Guam

President Donald Trump's warning North Korea faced "fire and fury" and Pyongyang's threat of possible retaliation drove investors out of stocks on Wednesday and into the safety of the yen, Swiss franc, gold and government debt.

Today, as Pyongyang once again calls Guam out by name, the island's governor, Eddie Baza Calvo, says there is "no threat" to the island.

"I want to reassure the people of Guam that now there is no threat to our island", he said. There was no evidence of panic buying in stores Wednesday and gas stations were operating normally.

"People say 'I hate being a target". The customer traffic is normal. "They are here to protect the islands, just in case something happens".

Guam, which advertises pristine beaches, clear blue skies and "world-famous sunsets" is a popular destination, with tourism a key pillar of its economy.

Andersen Air Force Base on Guam is where the USA keeps its B1-B bombers deployed to the Asia Pacific.

Earlier this year, NATO Military Committee Chair, General Petr Pavel, said he had the "utmost respect" for Australian forces and the country is a "highly valued, reliable and respected partner".

The U.S. island territory in the western Pacific Ocean is ringed by beaches, studded with palm trees and packed with bombs. The U.S., in turn, has heavily fortified Guam - in part to keep an eye on North Korea.

While it is extremely unlikely that Pyongyang would risk the assured annihilation of its revered leadership with a pre-emptive attack on United States citizens, some residents of Guam are concerned.

"It's awesome when you consider the headlines just how calm the equity markets are, how they've taken things in their stride", said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"We have to understand that even in a million-to-one scenario we have to be prepared with Guam being what it has been for decades, an American territory with strategic military assets in place in a very dynamic region".

"Heightened geopolitical risks overnight have seen the markets flip from risk-on to risk-off and we have to wait and see how long this move runs before adding some positions", said Viraj Patel, an FX strategist at ING in London. The U.S. took back control of Guam on July 21, 1944.

"It's not like there's anything we can do, anyway". We live on a small island.

"Nothing that I have seen and nothing that I know of would indicate that the situation has dramatically changed in the last 24 hours", he said.

WASHINGTON (AP) - North Korea says it is examining its operational plans for attacking Guam to contain USA bases there.

The island was first populated about 4,000 years ago by the ancestors of the Chamorros, still the island's largest ethnic group. In World War II, Guam was seized by the Japanese shortly after the Pearl Harbor attacks and won back by the 1944. In 1950, an act of Congress made it an unincorporated organized territory of the United States.

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