Monday, December 18, 2017








China can now fire missiles three times faster after enlisting ROBOTS to launch warheads as tensions between Beijing and Washington grow over North Korea

  • Chinese scientists claim they have developed an automated missile system
  • Robots could move and load missiles and halve the number of soldiers needed
  • A propaganda video from Beijing claimed China owns 2,500 ballistic missiles
  • Trump has attacked China over claim it's secretly supplying oil to North Korea
The Chinese armies are now able to use robots to fire ballistic missiles after successfully developing an automated launching system, Chinese military media claimed.
The advanced system would help China fire warheads three times faster and halve the number of soldiers involved.
The news emerged as tensions between Beijing and Washington have escalated over the claims that China had allowed oil into North Korea, which violated a United Nations embargo. Beijing has denied the allegations. 
Beijing's next-generation intercontinental ballistic missile, Dongfeng-41 (pictured) could allegedly strike anywhere in the world. It's expected to be ready in the first half of this year
Beijing's next-generation intercontinental ballistic missile, Dongfeng-41 (pictured) could allegedly strike anywhere in the world. It's expected to be ready in the first half of this year
China's state broadcast has released footage which apparently showed 10 DF-15 (file photo) being fired. DF-15 is a  short-range missile that can reportedly travel 2,000 metres per second
China's state broadcast has released footage which apparently showed 10 DF-15 (file photo) being fired. DF-15 is a short-range missile that can reportedly travel 2,000 metres per second
The robotic missile firing system was developed by China's Rocket Force Research Centre, reported the People's Daily Online, citing PLA Newspaper. 

CHINA'S OTHER MISSILES 

China's DF-21 missile boasts a firing distance of up to 1,926 miles (3,100km) and has been dubbed 'the killer of aircraft carrier'.
The missile is potentially capable of sinking a U.S. Nimitz-class aircraft carrier in a single strike, media have claimed.
The DF-10 missile, on the other hand, is the best performing long-range cruise missile in the world, according to Chinese news site Sina.com.
Sina said the 990-pound (450kg) weapon could strike a maximum distance of 1,242 miles (2,000km) and could reach Japan and Taiwan if it's fired from inland China.Apparently, the system was completed as early as last October and was described to be a 'breakthrough' for Chinese scientists.
Zhang Jingyong, a project leader, said that the system could reduce the time soldiers spend preparing the launch by half. In addition, by using robots to load the missiles on the battlefield, only half as many soldiers are needed compared to before, and they could fire missiles three times faster.
Just days before the Chinese scientists revealed the robotic missile system, China's state broadcaster CCTV aired never-before-seen footage of 10 Dongfeng missiles being fired during a drill.  
The missiles have been identified as DF-15, a type of short-range missile that can reportedly travel at a speed of up to 2,000 metres (1.4 miles) per second.  
A propaganda video from Beijing claimed in July that China owns about 2,500 ballistic missiles.  
Beijing's next-generation intercontinental ballistic missile, Dongfeng-41, or DF-41, could allegedly strike anywhere in the world with nuclear warheads. It's expected to be ready during the first half of next year.
The missile is 16.5 meters (54 feet) long with a diameter of 2.78 meters (9.1 feet).
Previous reports have claimed that the missile has a range of at least 7,500 miles (12,000km) and could carry up to 10 nuclear warheads. 
China tests missile which can strike ANYWHERE in the world
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Military vehicles carry DF-10 ship-launched cruise missiles as they travel past the Tiananmen Square during a military parade on September 3, 2015 in Beijing. DF-10 missile has been dubbed the best performing long-range cruise missile in the world
Military vehicles carry DF-10 ship-launched cruise missiles as they travel past the Tiananmen Square during a military parade on September 3, 2015 in Beijing. DF-10 missile has been dubbed the best performing long-range cruise missile in the world
Intermediate-range ballistic missile DF-21 drive past the Tiananmen Square during a military parade on September 3, 2015 in Beijing. DF-21 boasts a firing distance of up to 1,926 miles
Intermediate-range ballistic missile DF-21 drive past the Tiananmen Square during a military parade on September 3, 2015 in Beijing. DF-21 boasts a firing distance of up to 1,926 miles
Tensions between China and the United States have been rising.
Late last month, President Donald Trump gave Beijing a wrist slap for alleged transfers of oil from Chinese tankers to North Korean ships that flagrantly violate a United Nations embargo. 
U.S. satellites spotted the tankers trading oil with Pyongyang's ships 30 times within three months, a South Korean newspaper reported, citing officials within the country's government.
Trump jumped on the report on December 28 from the Palm Beach golf club he's been staying at during his trip to Florida.
The president hinted at a possible confrontation in a tweet that said: 'Caught RED HANDED - very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea. There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!'
President Donald Trump gave Beijing a wrist slap last month for alleged transfers of oil from Chinese tankers to North Korean ships that flagrantly violate a United Nations embargo
China's communist government, led by Xi Jingping, has firmly denied the allegations
President Donald Trump gave Beijing a wrist slap last month for alleged transfers of oil from Chinese tankers to North Korean ships that flagrantly violate a United Nations embargo. China's communist government, led by Xi Jingping, has firmly denied the allegations
'Caught RED HANDED': Donald Trump commented on the claim that China was secretly supplying oil to North Korea on his Twitter account on December 28
'Caught RED HANDED': Donald Trump commented on the claim that China was secretly supplying oil to North Korea on his Twitter account on December 28
On December 29, China denied the reports that it had been illicitly selling oil products to North Korea in violation of U.N. sanctions.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters she had noted recent media reports, including suggestions a Chinese vessel was suspected of transporting oil to a North Korean vessel on Oct. 19.
'In reality, the ship in question has, since August, not docked at a Chinese port and there is no record of it entering or leaving a Chinese port,' Hua said adding that the reports 'did not accord with facts.
'China has always implemented U.N. Security Council resolutions pertaining to North Korea in their entirety and fulfils its international obligations. We never allow Chinese companies and citizens to violate the resolutions,' Hua said.
'If, through investigation, it's confirmed there are violations of the U.N. Security Council resolutions, China will deal with them seriously in accordance with laws and regulations

US and South Korea held training drills to destroy Kim Jong-un's nuclear weapons through a 'ground invasion'

  • The two countries took part in military exercises, codenamed 'Warrior Strike'
  • Drills took place over four days and prepared soldiers for disarming of missiles
  • Comes as US official said 'ground invasion' was only means to destroy arsenal

US and South Korea forces have undergone training drills aimed at taking out Kim Jong-un's nuclear missiles.
The two countries took part in military exercises, codenamed 'Warrior Strike', last week at Camp Stanley, north of the capital city of Seoul.
The drills took place over four days and prepared soldiers for the disarming of weapons of mass destruction.
Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, who commands U.S. Forces Korea, and South Korea’s chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Jung Kyung-doo, were among those in attendance, the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division wrote on Facebook.
US and South Korea forces have undergone training drills aimed at taking out Kim Jong-un's nuclear missiles. (pictured: US military personnel during a training programme in South Korea in 2013
US and South Korea forces have undergone training drills aimed at taking out Kim Jong-un's nuclear missiles. (pictured: US military personnel during a training programme in South Korea in 2013
The drills took place over four days and prepared soldiers for the disarming of weapons of mass destruction amassed by Kim Jong-un (pictured)
The drills took place over four days and prepared soldiers for the disarming of weapons of mass destruction amassed by Kim Jong-un (pictured)
It comes after a top Pentagon official said a 'ground invasion' was the only way to destroy North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
Pyongyang has already conducted a test with a missile that could potentially carry a nuclear warhead to the U.S. Eastern Seaboard.
Sen. Lindsey Graham this week predicted that President Donald Trump would take the country to war with North Korea if Kim Jong-un makes additional provocations.
Graham told The Atlantic in an interview that appeared on the magazine's website Thursday that another nuclear test would be the final straw.
'I would say there's a three in 10 chance we use the military option,' Graham said. Upping the odds in the case of a seventh test, he replied, 'I would say 70 percent.'
A Chinese former senior military official warned that war in North Korea could break out 'any time between now and March 2018'.
A top Pentagon official said a 'ground invasion' was the only way to destroy North Korea’s nuclear weapons program
A top Pentagon official said a 'ground invasion' was the only way to destroy North Korea’s nuclear weapons program
Lieutenant General Wang Hongguang said Beijing should be mentally prepared for war on the Korean peninsula at any moment, and should start mobilising troops in Northeast China.
His warning came the day before China sent several warplanes on a long-range drill to the Sea of Japan, a move that prompted South Korea to scramble fighter jets.
'The war on the Korean Peninsula might break out anytime between now and March next year,' General Hongguang told Chinese state-run English language newspaper Global Times.
'China should be psychologically prepared for a potential Korean war, and the Northeast China regions should be mobilized for that.'
'Such mobilization is not to launch a war, but for defensive purposes,' he added.
Monday's military drill saw the Chinese air force dispatched bombers, fighters and reconnaissance planes through the Tsushima Strait to the Sea of Japan to 'test its ocean combat ability.'
South Korean army soldiers exit their military trucks during an arrest operation in Goseong
South Korean army soldiers exit their military trucks during an arrest operation in Goseong



Bristling in Mad Kim’s crosshairs: Inside Trump’s air force and naval bases on Guam where an awesome arsenal is locked, loaded and ready to launch fire and fury on North Korea


  • Exclusive first look at Trump's arsenal of ships, plans and weaponry in Guam 
  • Includes F-16 fighter jets lined up along a runway ready to scramble in an instant 
  • Comes as President Trump ratcheted up his rhetoric promising 'fire and fury' 

US bombers take off from Guam air force base for joint exercise with Japan in show of strength after threats from North Korea





Japan conducted air drills with US bombers near the Korean peninsula on Wednesday, Japan's Air Self Defence Force said in a news release.
The exercise involved two US Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers flying from Andersen Air Force Base on Guam and two Japanese F-15 jet fighters.
'These training flights with Japan demonstrate the solidarity and resolve we share with our allies to preserve peace and security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific,' the US Air Force said.
The exercise saw the planes reach the vicinity of the Senkaku Islands East China Sea. 
The US aircraft have flown several sorties in East Asia in recent weeks. In addition to air drills with Japanese fighters, the bombers have also exercised with South Korean aircraft.
North Korea regards the US exercises with South Korea and Japan as preparations for invasion. The exercises also upset China, which says they do nothing to ease tension. 
The American territory of Guam remains on high alert as a showdown between the US and North Korea continues. North Korea said that it was planning to launch four missiles near Guam by the middle of August.
Japan conducted air manoeuvers with US bombers near the Korean peninsula on Wednesday, Japan's Air Self Defence Force said in a news release
Japan conducted air manoeuvers with US bombers near the Korean peninsula on Wednesday, Japan's Air Self Defence Force said in a news release
The exercise involved two US Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers flying from Andersen Air Force Base on Guam and two Japanese F-15 jet fighters
The exercise involved two US Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers flying from Andersen Air Force Base on Guam and two Japanese F-15 jet fighters
'These training flights with Japan demonstrate the solidarity and resolve we share with our allies to preserve peace and security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific,' the US Air Force said
'These training flights with Japan demonstrate the solidarity and resolve we share with our allies to preserve peace and security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific,' the US Air Force said
The US aircraft have flown several sorties in East Asia in recent weeks. In addition to air drills with Japanese fighters, the bombers have also exercised with South Korean aircraft
The US aircraft have flown several sorties in East Asia in recent weeks. In addition to air drills with Japanese fighters, the bombers have also exercised with South Korean aircraft
North Korea regards the US exercises with South Korea and Japan as preparations for invasion. The exercises also upset China, which says they do nothing to ease tension
North Korea regards the US exercises with South Korea and Japan as preparations for invasion. The exercises also upset China, which says they do nothing to ease tension
Pictured, two US Air Force Rockwell B-1B Lancer strategic bombers preparing to fly a bilateral mission with Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-15 jets in the vicinity of the Senkaku Islands, East China Sea
Pictured, two US Air Force Rockwell B-1B Lancer strategic bombers preparing to fly a bilateral mission with Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-15 jets in the vicinity of the Senkaku Islands, East China Sea
The American territory of Guam remains on high alert as a showdown between the U.S. and North Korea continues. North Korea has said that it is planning to launch four missiles near Guam by the middle of August
The American territory of Guam remains on high alert as a showdown between the U.S. and North Korea continues. North Korea has said that it is planning to launch four missiles near Guam by the middle of August
Guam home to about 7,000 American troops and 160,000 residents. Pictured, Air Force Rockwell B-1 Lancer
Guam home to about 7,000 American troops and 160,000 residents. Pictured, Air Force Rockwell B-1 Lancer
Pictured, U.S. Air Force Rockwell B-1 Lancer takes off from Andersen Air Force base on August 17, 2017 in Yigo, Guam
Pictured, U.S. Air Force Rockwell B-1 Lancer takes off from Andersen Air Force base on August 17, 2017 in Yigo, Guam



The guns are locked and loaded, the F-16 fighter jets line up along the runway ready to scramble at a moment’s notice and the military, as their motto proudly proclaims, are ‘Ready to fight tonight’.



North Korea stands no chance against US, Guam threat is a bluff 



North Korea wouldn’t stand a chance against the US if the war of words between the two states escalates into a military conflict, Leonid Ivashov, a political analyst and retired Russian Colonel-General, told RT, urging a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
“It’s a total mismatch,” Ivashov, who currently heads the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, said of the possible confrontation between Washington and Pyongyang.
“The US is a superpower, while North Korea is a small regional player. North Korea can’t compete with America on any level,” he said.
President Donald Trump needs to strengthen his position in Washington, and the American attack on North Korea “can’t be ruled out,” Ivashov said.
According to the retired colonel-general, modern surveillance technologies allow the US to know “the exact location of all missile systems and nuclear production facilities” possessed by Pyongyang.
“The Americans can strike North Korea – its nuclear missile development centers, industrial facilities; try to eliminate everything that North Korea created in terms of medium-range and long-range missiles and nuclear production,” he said.
The American B-1 bombers will be able to inflict significant damage on Pyongyang’s underground nuclear development facilities and missile silos, “taking into account the weakness of the North Korean anti-missile defense,” Ivashov said.
He was also skeptical about Pyongyang’s threats to target the US territory of Guam in case of an attack.
“To some extent, it’s a bluff on the part of North Korea; an attempt to save face and avert the American blow through international rhetoric,” he said.
“The US has a powerful anti-missile defense system off the coast of the Korean Peninsula… which may well intercept Pyongyang’s missiles. The Guam Air Base, which North Korea is planning to attack, is also covered by the US anti-missile defense,” Ivashov added.
Earlier this week, North Korea said that it would fire ballistic missiles in the direction of Guam sometime in mid-August as a rehearsal of war with the US.
The announcement was made after Trump promised “fire and fury” against Pyongyang if it continued tests aimed at developing nuclear-capable long-range ballistic missiles.

On Friday, Trump came up with another bellicose statement, warning the North on Twitter that “military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely.”
According to Ivashov, North Korea is still capable of inflicting “some damage” on the US, but it will be incomparable to the blow the Americans will deliver.

In the latest round of a series of escalating and terrifying threats, North Korean tyrant Kim Jong Un’s Stalinist regime has vowed to fire four ballistic missiles at the island.
As President Trump ratcheted up his bellicose rhetoric, promising ‘fire and fury like the world has never seen’, the 7,000 US military personnel on the island calmly prepared for battle.

President Trump has ratcheted up his bellicose rhetoric, promising ‘fire and fury like the world has never seen’, the 7,000 US military personnel on the island calmly prepared for battle
Two SSN 688-class submarines and their supply ship, the USS Emory S Land, in Apra Harbour. The subs are equipped with 12 Vertical Launch System tubes for firing Tomahawk cruise missiles that can carry nuclear warheads. At 360ft and 6,927 tons submerged, they are powered by nuclear reactors and are perfect for strike warfare 
Two SSN 688-class submarines and their supply ship, the USS Emory S Land, in Apra Harbour. The subs are equipped with 12 Vertical Launch System tubes for firing Tomahawk cruise missiles that can carry nuclear warheads. At 360ft and 6,927 tons submerged, they are powered by nuclear reactors and are perfect for strike warfare 
‘We are constantly in a high state of readiness,’ said military spokesman Greg Kuntz. ‘The systems are here, we are in place and we are ready to go.’
The Mail on Sunday visited Naval Base Guam and Andersen Air Force Base on the US territory and vital strategic outpost, population 162,000, just 2,000 miles from the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, from where Jong Un has threatened to launch his weapons, possibly as early as next week, to create a ‘historic enveloping fire’ around the tropical isle.
We witnessed first-hand the extraordinary, multi-billion-pound military might the world’s greatest superpower has amassed on Guam.
They include £1.7 billion nuclear-powered attack submarines, B-1B Lancer bombers capable of ‘obliterating’ North Korea’s underground missile bunkers, littoral combat ships designed for a sea- to-land invasion and the biggest weapons cache in the Pacific, 7,500 tons of explosives and munitions, stored in dozens of igloo-shaped reinforced concrete bunkers.
The collection of firepower nestling under swaying palm trees and languishing in crystal-clear tropical waters was a breathtaking – if surreal – sight.
Naval Base Guam is a 15-minute drive from the tourist centre of Tumon, a bustling area filled with shops selling trinkets emblazoned with the stars and stripes and Guam’s motto: ‘Where America’s Day Begins’ (because of its geographical location, Guam is the first US land mass to see sunrise).
The Mail on Sunday's Caroline Graham: We witnessed first-hand the extraordinary, multi-billion-pound military might the world’s greatest superpower has amassed on Guam
The Mail on Sunday's Caroline Graham: We witnessed first-hand the extraordinary, multi-billion-pound military might the world’s greatest superpower has amassed on Guam
Donald Trump: Kim Jong Un 'will truly regret' attack on USA
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Guam became a US territory in 1898 during the Spanish-American war. Residents do not pay American taxes or vote in presidential elections but are US citizens by birth. The moist tropical air is thick and causes everyone, especially those in uniform, to sweat profusely within seconds of leaving an air-conditioned car or building.
At Shamrock’s Irish bar, manager and former soldier Sean Hale, 37, whose mother is from Tipperary, said business has slumped since the crisis escalated in recent days. He said: ‘Normally we’re packed on Friday and Saturday nights but it’s dead this week. The guys are staying on base.
‘They are not drinking. They are hanging in their dorms, going to the gym. They know they have to be ready to go at a moment’s notice.’
Driving past postcard-perfect beaches filled with tourists, mostly from South Korea and Japan, stray chickens run along the grass verges outside ubiquitous American staples like McDonald’s and KFC.
In the latest round of a series of escalating and terrifying threats, North Korean tyrant Kim Jong Un’s Stalinist regime has vowed to fire four ballistic missiles at the island
In the latest round of a series of escalating and terrifying threats, North Korean tyrant Kim Jong Un’s Stalinist regime has vowed to fire four ballistic missiles at the island
Kim Jong Un smiles with generals as jets pound war games targets
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THE BACKBONE OF AMERICA'S BOMBER FORCE  

The BL-1B carries the largest payload in the USAF and holds almost 50 world records for speed and range.
The BL-1B carries the largest payload in the USAF and holds almost 50 world records for speed and range.
The BI-1B Lancer is the backbone of America's long-range bomber force. 
It carries the largest payload in the USAF and holds almost 50 world records for speed and range. 
The views of the Pacific, azure blue and dotted with surfers and snorkellers, give way to military signs touting ‘Marine Drive’ before you reach the stone-arched gateway to the naval base. Inside lies a sprawling collection of buildings and jetties around Apra Harbor, home to the elite Naval Special Warfare Unit One and Submarine Squadron 15 and the US Coast Guard.
Two of the four 688-class SSN submarines based at the station are tied up in the harbour.
Alongside is the USS Emory S. Land, a submarine tender and support vessel whose claim to fame is that it featured prominently in bestselling US author Don Brown’s 2012 thriller Fire Of The Raging Dragon about a fictional future war in the South China Sea.
The USS Coronado has just arrived in port. She is an Independence-class littoral combat ship, designed for speed around a trimaran hull and built to allow marines rapid access in shallow coastal waters – like those around the Korean peninsula.
Thirty miles away, at the northern tip of Guam, is Andersen Air Force Base. It is here that any attack on North Korea would begin.
Last month, after North Korea launched its latest ballistic missile test, two B-1B Lancers left Andersen and flew over the Korean peninsula in a show of force.
The USS Coronado is an Independence-class littoral combat ship, designed for speed around a trimaran hull and built to allow marines rapid access in shallow coastal waters – like those around the Korean peninsula
The USS Coronado is an Independence-class littoral combat ship, designed for speed around a trimaran hull and built to allow marines rapid access in shallow coastal waters – like those around the Korean peninsula

'DO NOT LOOK AT THE FLASH OR FIREBALL - IT CAN BLIND YOU' 

Authority's in Guam issued the guide to residents on how to survive a nuclear attack by North Korea 
Authority's in Guam issued the guide to residents on how to survive a nuclear attack by North Korea 
Guam authorities issued a chilling guide to surviving a nuclear attack on Friday which warned: ‘Do not look at the flash or fireball – it can blind you.’
Hotel manager Ermar Reyes, a father of four, said: ‘Everyone’s stocking up on food and water. When you live on Guam, you are used to typhoon warnings but this is the first time they’ve issued a nuclear guide. It’s chilling.’
Several of the F-16s are airborne during our visit. No operational details of exercise missions are made public, but locals have reported higher than normal sightings of F-16s and other aircraft, including maritime patrol planes and refuelling tankers, in the skies in recent days. Asked about reports that North Korean missiles could strike Guam within 14 minutes of launch, a military insider laughed: ‘They’ll never get this far.’
Andersen is home to THAAD, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, a multi-billion-dollar state-of-the-art system designed to engage ‘multiple targets simultaneously’ using radar and interceptors fired from trucks.
Developed after Iraq’s Scud missile attacks during the first Gulf War in 1991, it is designed to shoot down short, medium, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles as they descend towards Earth.
A sleek B-1B Lancer bomber is parked on the runway. Nicknamed ‘The Bone’ (from B-One), the supersonic bombers cost £250 million each and can fly at Mach 1.25.
This photo distributed by the North Korean government shows what was said to be the launch of a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile, ICBM
This photo distributed by the North Korean government shows what was said to be the launch of a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile, ICBM
A PAC-3 interceptor is deployed in the compound of a garrison of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force in Konan
A PAC-3 interceptor is deployed in the compound of a garrison of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force in Konan
It comes after Pyongyang carried out missile test launches. The US and the rogue state have exchanged fierce rhetoric in recent months
It comes after Pyongyang carried out missile test launches. The US and the rogue state have exchanged fierce rhetoric in recent months
North Korea: US Ambassador warns diplomatic solution 'disappearing'
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Carrying a huge payload of conventional or nuclear weapons, there are thought to be at least six B-1Bs at Andersen. They would serve as the first line of attack should Trump order a military strike. America would be likely to use stealth bombers such as F-22s, F-35s and B-2s alongside the B-1Bs to, as one source told me, ‘obliterate the missile bunkers, the missiles and Long Dong Kim if it comes to it’.
In military-speak, Guam is a ‘power projection platform’.
Lieutenant Colonel Chris Occhiuzzo, deputy operations group commander, says: ‘We train every day. We don’t train for any specific threat. We are ready to fight tonight.’
One of the most extraordinary sights on the base is a line of ‘Hayman igloos’. The storage units, along a half-mile-long road, are packed with 7,500 tons of explosives and weaponry: the largest cache of munitions and explosives in the Pacific region.
‘This is one of the most strategically important bases for the US in the world,’ one airman tells me. ‘When weeks like this happen, the world focuses on Guam, a place most people couldn’t even find on the map. But it is a critical base for the US 365 days a year.’
One of two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers is refueled during a 10-hour mission flying to the vicinity of Kyushu, Japan
One of two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers is refueled during a 10-hour mission flying to the vicinity of Kyushu, Japan
On Andersen, so big it feels eerily quiet, the only openly busy place on a Saturday afternoon is the PX shop, known as ‘The Exchange’.
The car park is full of vehicles, their bumper stickers declaring Freedom is Not Free and Heroes Don’t Wear Capes, They Wear Dog Tags. There are 7,000 military men and women on Guam and another 7,000 family members. Inside the PX, wives stock up on groceries but also luxuries at the in-store Victoria’s Secret lingerie outlet.
‘Nothing gets in the way of combat shopping,’ a source joked. ‘This is the most action at the base outside of the runways. The wives never know when their men might be called to action. Shopping is a necessity but also a good tension buster.’
There is a stoicism to the islanders but also very real concerns. The latest rumour spreading like wildfire is that an attack could come as early as tomorrow or Tuesday.
Boutique worker Padgy Conlu, 28, is married to a soldier. ‘My husband tells me not to worry, that everything is under control but, of course, I worry for my family,’ she said.
Like many here, she is critical of Trump for ratcheting up the rhetoric against the ‘crazy’ North Koreans. ‘I agree with the President on many things but not this,’ she said, shaking her head.
‘What will any of this accomplish? You don’t argue with a crazy man. Trump needs to calm things down.
‘No one wants to go to war. We just want this whole thing to settle down and go away. We just want to go back to our quiet island life.’
However, if the US, and, potentially, long-standing allies such as the UK, have to go to war, the forces on Guam are prepared.

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