The President would be told and consulted, but if the threat is imminent, the U.S. military has the right to self-defense - and could make the decision. "Some people [say], 'We just want our peace, our island groove that we've always have.' There are other people who are just sick and exhausted of the threats from North Korea because there sure have been many over the years".
Gaminde's remarks comes after North Korea announced earlier on Thursday that the nation has a detailed plan for a missile strike near Guam, where about 7,000 United States troops are stationed, using four intermediate-range ballistic rockets.
South Korea, which spends around a tenth of its annual budget on defense, is already home to some 625,000 local soldiers and more than 28,000 USA troops. We live on a small island. While there has been some resistance and displeasure from the people of Guam over the US military's presence, it is also essential to the island's economy, second only to tourism in importance.
"I'm a religious person", said Martha Bernard.
The possibility of a nuclear confrontation is considered remote but global alarm has been escalating in recent days.
"Well, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say if North Korea was planning some kind of pre-emptive or surprise attack on Guam, we would not be reading about it in North Korean media", Delury said in an interview at his office.
Most of the North Korea's weapons have landed in the Sea of Japan. The U.S. president had earlier threatened to unleash "fire and fury" on the reclusive state.
Andersen Air Force Base houses a Navy helicopter squadron and Air Force bombers that rotate to Guam from the USA mainland, including the B-2 stealth bomber, B-1 and B-52. Their location in a US territory means its military is just hours from potential flashpoints in the western Pacific.
In response to North Korean missile tests, the U.S. military has tested its missile defense system in May, and multiple times in July, although they later admitted one had failed.
The U.S. military has said it plans to increase its presence on Guam and will move thousands of U.S. Marines now stationed in Japan to the island between 2024 and 2028.
In a recent message, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said, "Since North Korea is very close to crossing the red line, Seoul needs to ramp up all defence measures against North Korea's potential threat", said another Seoul city official who asked not to be identified by name.
If American superiority in technology - the cutting edge of the military-industrial complex that won the Cold War - can not protect the United States homeland, what are the chances of it protecting us? "One might even call him a hawk", Mr. Kishida said on a television debate program on Thursday, adding, "I'm a liberal, a dove". The 163,000 residents that make up Guam's population, which includes 6,000 US service members, are considered USA citizens. File photo by U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Photo by Robert Hicks/Handout via REUTERS.
During the Vietnam War, the Air Force sent 155 B-52 bombers to Guam to hit targets in Southeast Asia.
But there's also some resentment about not being able to vote in the general election for US president.
Former President Clinton squats as he examines the names of World War II war dead on a wall at the War in the Pacific National Historical Park on the island of Guam in 1998. A huge red, white and blue ribbon is outside the airport terminal.
In Guam's capital Hagatna, residents were unruffled by Pyongyang's rhetoric.
Its population is mostly Roman Catholic and about a third are Chamorro, descendants of the indigenous people Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan first encountered in 1521. "And not a lot of Americans know that".
Guam is the closest US territory to North Korea at a distance of approximately 2,130 miles.
Japan's Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Thursday that a missile attack on the US territory would breach the USA deterrence against an attack on Japan, which would be a national emergency because it threatens Japan's existence as a nation.
In August a year ago, the North's Foreign Ministry warned that all US military bases in the Pacific including Guam would "face ruin in the face of all-out and substantial attack" by the North's military. But a series of events over the past couple of months has led to an escalation in threats by both Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.
In that case, Onedera said that Japan could exercise the right to collective self-defense and intercept the missiles.