Guam sends out missile fact sheet


If North Korea launches missiles on Guam, it would take only about 14 minutes for the rockets to reach the United States territory, the island's Homeland Security spokeswoman announced. Threatening to fire a volley of missiles toward a major USA military hub _ and the home to 160,000 American civilians _ may seem like a pretty bad move for a country that is seriously outgunned and has an terrible lot to lose. The American military presence on Guam consists of two bases - Andersen Air Force Base in the north and Naval Base Guam in the south - which are home to 7,000 US troops.

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.

At the time North Korea said it was launching a telecommunications satellite, but Washington, Seoul and Tokyo believed Pyongyang was testing an intercontinental ballistic missile.

As tensions continue to ratchet up over North Korea's pursuit of a nuclear missile capable of striking the US, CNN has spoken to multiple officials with a detailed knowledge of how the US will determine if any North Korean missile launch poses a threat that requires the US military to shoot it down.

The South, which hosts US$28,500 (RM122,250) troops on its soil to defend it from the North, is banned from building its own nuclear weapons under an atomic energy deal it signed in 1974 with the United States - its security guarantor that instead offers Seoul a "nuclear umbrella" against potential attacks. He said that the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) was on standby and prepared at all times to address any incident that may occur in the aftermath of a missile attack.

Meanwhile, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said during a session of parliament on August 10 that Japan could shoot down North Korean missiles before they reach Guam.

"Do not look at the flash or fireball - It can blind you", it said.

It also advises parents to stay where they are and wait for instructions, even if they are separated from their children.

Governor Eddie Calvo describes his island to those who don't know it as a "mini Hawaii" and puts the chances of a direct missile hit at a million-to-one because of the multi layers of Pacific defences, the last being those on Guam itself. Citizens are cautioned to "lie flat on the ground and cover your head" and "remove your clothing to keep radioactive material from spreading".

"Do not use conditioner in your hair because it will bind radioactive material to you hair".

If there is no access to shower nearby, a wipe or clean wet cloth on the parts of the skin that was exposed could also be used.

In Guam's capital Hagatna, residents were unruffled by Pyongyang's rhetoric.

"Since 2006, when North Korea first conducted its nuclear test, there wasn't this much response as people became immune to frequent missile launches and nuclear tests", said Yoon Hee-yeul, the chief executive of Combat Ration, based in the southeastern city of Daegu.