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How to survive a nuclear attack, explained by Guam officials

How to survive a nuclear attack, explained by Guam officials

It is about 2,200 miles (3,500 km) southeast of North Korea, much closer than it is to any of the United States.

After Pyongyang conducted two successful tests of an intercontinental ballistic missile last month, putting much of the mainland United States within reach, the paper warned: "Trust in the nuclear umbrella the USA provides to the South can be shaken".

Under an atomic energy agreement signed with the U.S. in 1974, South Korea is banned from building its own nuclear arms, and Washington has guaranteed to protect the South under a "nuclear umbrella" against potential aggression.

Small and targeted strategic investment in the South Pacific will not only show the US commitment to its strategic value, it will ensure that the prepared to deal with current and emerging threats across the broader Asia-Pacific region.

Reports, however, say that South Korea is technologically highly advanced and could develop an atomic device within months of deciding to do so. As a result, Guam's economy relies heavily on the U.S. Armed Forces, which owns a third of the island.

A survey conducted a year ago, before tensions began to mount on the Korean Peninsula, indicated that about 57 percent of South Koreans supported the idea of Seoul having nuclear weapons, and 31 percent opposed it.

"We're told to keep calm and that we're well-protected, but the reality is we could be here today and gone tomorrow", she said.

The sanctions adopted by the UN Security Council were likely to be counterproductive, he said, as they had never worked before and had failed to prevent the North acquiring nuclear weapons. He seems to have the technical capacity to make good on this threat: his regime has made observable progress in its missile program, notably firing two intercontinental ballistic missiles last month theoretically capable of reaching the American mainland. For years, North Korea has claimed Guam is within its missiles' striking distance, making furious statements each time when the US flew powerful bombers from the island's air base to the Korean Peninsula. Tensions have recently skyrocketed, with the two countries recently trading serious threats of an invasion.

In October 2006, an unofficial spokesman for North Korea in Japan told ABC Radio Australia that Guam, Japan and Hawaii were potential targets if the United Nations levied tougher sanctions against North Korea. The tiny island is home to major U.S. air and naval facilities. 'While no doubt meant to project strength and resolve, they risk taking the world yet closer to the precipice of conflict'.

Guam has fired off an Imminent Missile Threat fact sheet in response to the apocalyptic threat from North Korea.

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"My first order as president was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal".

China, North Korea's main ally, has consistently urged both sides to work to lower tensions.

North Korea's acquisition of nuclear weapons and its hell-for-leather development of an array of missiles to deliver them, have raised the stakes further. "If he does something in Guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody has seen before, what will happen in North Korea", he said.

The Times said Beijing would not be "able to persuade Washington or Pyongyang to back down at this time".

The North's military chief Ri Myong Su responded saying that if the United States continued in its "reckless" behavior, Pyongyang would "inflict the most miserable and merciless punishment upon all the provokers".