Several Guam residents say that they are confident that the missile defense system has what it takes to stop any offense North Korea may launch.
The system on its way to the island is part of a “layered” defense giving the military multiple opportunities to shoot down incoming missiles and warheads before they reach their targets. It is specifically designed to shoot down missiles during their final stage of flight and is expected to arrive on Guam within the next few weeks.
Even if nothing more happens, for some residents the international attention is significant in itself.
University of Guam president Robert Underwood said the threat is an opportunity for students and educators to discuss Guam’s role in global military strategy. Urquico said it is a geography lesson, at least.
“I’ve never heard anyone make a direct threat to Guam,” Urquico said. “My response was: ‘Wow, they can find Guam on the map? Most Americans can’t.’”
AP writers Anita Hofschneider, Oskar Garcia and Audrey McAvoy contributed to this report from Honolulu.