On Guam, The Mood Is Calm Despite Being In North Korea's Crosshairs

North Korea nerves push stocks down for third day, lift gold

This week, after North Korea threatened Guam, she says folks are keeping their cool.

However, it also said that China will remain neutral if North Korea launches missiles that threaten United States soil first and Washington retaliates back.

The tiny US territory of Guam feels a strong sense of patriotism and confidence in the American military.

South Korea's National Security Council (NSC) strongly urged North Korea on Thursday to immediately stop provocations and return to the dialogue table, saying dialogue was still possible should the communist state decide to cooperate.

There are two major bases on Guam: Andersen Air Force Base in the north and Naval Base Guam in the south.

Despite the war of words, for now the USA military says there has been no change in its readiness posture in South Korea or elsewhere in Asia.

Gold prices continued to rise after North Korea state media warned its missiles could surround the U.S. territory of Guam in an "enveloping fire" in coming weeks.

Even a conventional clash could cause catastrophic casualties, given the thousands of North Korean artillery pieces ranged along the border, at least 1,000 of which are capable of reaching the densely populated South Korean capital Seoul and its metropolitan area, home to some 25 million people. The rotations also came as North Korea increasingly upped the ante in the standoff over its development of nuclear weapons.

"It would be very hard to eliminate that threat before the artillery fire could create a lot of damage on the southern side", David Shear, who served as the senior USA defence official for east Asia under former president Barack Obama, told Reuters.

Life on Guam is also deeply tied the military bases and the service members stationed at them.

The church is an influential force on the island, where the vast majority of residents are Catholic, and the Archdiocese of Agana - the capital of Guam, also known as Hagatna - has advised residents to "look to God during these hard times when world peace is threatened". Calvo stressed in a statement that there was no imminent threat to the safety of residents or visitors.

The Korean market is leading the way to new record arrivals for Guam.

The Swiss franc and Japanese yen are often sought in times of geopolitical tension or global financial stress, partly because both countries have big current account surpluses.

Whatever their doubts about those on the world stage, some local residents seemed to have more confidence in their local leaders.

"If we had a war, think about what it means".

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