Earlier this week, North Korea officials said it would envelope the island nation with missile tests following President Donald Trump's assertion that he would unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea if it attacked the U.S.
North Korea's rapidly advancing nuclear missile technology and its threat to strike USA territories have heightened tension that has transformed into rhetoric and a war of words between the U.S.
Pyongyang said the plan, which will be sent to leader Kim Jong Un for approval in the next week or so, would call for the missiles to fly over Japan and strike into the Pacific about 10 to 25 miles from Guam.
"I feel that the presence of the military on Guam will help us a lot", said Ms Virgie Matson, 51, a resident of Dededo, Guam's most populated village. There is a US air base there, a Navy installation and a Coast Guard group.
"While it is extremely unlikely that Pyongyang would risk the assured annihilation of its revered leadership with a pre-emptive attack on US citizens, some residents of Guam are concerned".
South Korea and Japan warned North Korea that it would face a strong response if it carried through with a threat to launch a missile toward the US territory of Guam.
In August a year ago, the North's Foreign Ministry warned that all USA military bases in the Pacific including Guam would "face ruin in the face of all-out and substantial attack" by the North's military. It has seen various popular movements pushing for greater self-government or even USA statehood, most notably a significant but failed effort in the 1980s to make it a commonwealth on par with Puerto Rico.
The people of Guam woke up yesterday to another pointed threat from Pyongyang, which vowed to complete a plan to attack waters near the island by the middle of this month.
"Guam is more than a military base". North Korea has been developing its nuclear-weapon and missile technology for years.
North Korea's rockets have a spotty track record. "I do not believe there is any imminent threat in my own view", Tillerson said. The North followed the May launch with two flight tests of its Hwasong-14 ICBM last month.
More recently, North Korean missiles have landed in the Sea of Japan, with some falling in Japan's exclusive economic zone that stretches as much as 200 nautical miles from its shores.
It's not the first time North Korea has threatened Guam, which is a crucial, strategic hub for US forces in the Pacific.
HU:.There's a certain island calm about the war of words between Washington and Pyongyang.
He said that Japan meant to strengthen its alliance with the USA, including at a meeting between Tillerson, Mattis and their Japanese counterparts in Washington next week.
"Of course it's all come at a time when share markets are due for a correction, so North Korea has provided a flawless trigger", he added.
"The circumstances are unfortunate but this is a good opportunity for us to educate the world about Guam and our culture, about where we are, and who we are", Josh Tyquiengco of the Guam Visitors Bureau told Agence France-Presse.
Experts also note that an attack against the US territory would nearly certainly provoke a massive backlash that would likely lead to the long-ruling regime's destruction.style="text-align: center;"