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Avoid bomb flash: Guam issues emergency guidelines for potential nuclear attack

13 August 2017, 10:17 | Devin Moran

A young girl cleans steps as people bow before the statues of late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang

A young girl cleans steps as people bow before the statues of late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang

In 2013, state media cited leader Kim Jong Un as having ordered his military to prepare plans on launching strikes on USA military bases in Guam, Hawaii and South Korea as well as the American mainland.

Its two large USA military bases occupy about one-third of the island.

It was not the first time Guam has been put on notice and similar threats made since 2013 led to the US military permanently deploying a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor system on the tiny island.

Threatened by North Korea earlier this week, the newly released fact sheet titled "Preparing for an Imminent Missile Threat" stirred the worst memories in WWII survivors who still live on the 50km-long island that serves as a key regional asset for the Pentagon.

Guam's governor on Thursday said the USA territory was "well-equipped" to handle any North Korean strike thanks to robust infrastructure that had survived earthquakes and typhoons, after Pyongyang released a detailed plan to launch missiles towards the island.

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.

Trump echoed that threat Thursday, insisting if North Korea took any steps to attack Guam, its leaders would have reason to be nervous.




The document also advises Guam residents to identify concrete shelters near their homes beforehand in order to be better prepared for the worst outcome.

"Do not look at the flash or fireball - it can blind you", the note said. He said the North would finalize a plan by mid-August to fire four mid-range missiles hitting waters 19 to 25 miles (30 to 40 kilometers) away from the island. Citizens are cautioned to "lie flat on the ground and cover your head" and "remove your clothing to keep radioactive material from spreading". But don't scratch or scrub skin and "do not use conditioner in your hair because it will bind radioactive material to your hair".

After a missile attack is over, Guam residents are advised to keep listening for official information from authorities to know what to do next.

The exercises were scheduled well before tensions began to rise over Trump's increasingly fiery rhetoric and North Korea's announcement of the missile plan, which if carried out would be its most provocative launch yet. "Remember that radiation can not be seen, smelled or otherwise detected by human senses", the document concludes.

It's located 2,100 miles south of North Korea and 4,000 miles west of Hawaii.

There's a sense of patriotism among those who cite the island's history of Guam residents serving in the US military.

He did not elaborate on Guam's defences but the island houses two USA military installations, and is also armed with a sophisticated weapons system known as THAAD, which can destroy short, medium and intermediate-range missiles in their final phase of flight.



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