HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — People in the U.S. territory of Guam should not be distracted by threats from North Korea to launch a nuclear strike, Gov. Eddie Baza Calvo said.
Calvo said at a news conference Wednesday in Guam that an attack is unlikely and the region is adequately protected.
"It does bring some concerns, but with those concerns also you have to temper those concerns now with the history of North Korea, both the statements that its leadership has made in the past as well as the limitations that they have in their military forces," he said.
Calvo also said he spoke Wednesday with Rear Adm. Tilghman Payne, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Marianas, and is maintaining close communications with Payne and the Pentagon.
The Defense Department cannot detail military operations, plans or intelligence, Calvo said. But he said the country is ready to defend Guam and other U.S. territories, as well as its allies.
North Korea's military threatened South Korea and the United States on Tuesday, warning that its artillery and rocket forces are at their highest-level combat posture.
The North Korean army's Supreme Command said it will take "practical military action" to protect national sovereignty and its leadership in response to what it called U.S. and South Korean plots to attack. The statement was carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.
North Korea's field artillery forces include strategic rocket and long-range artillery units that are "assigned to strike bases of the U.S. imperialist aggressor troops in the U.S. mainland and on Hawaii and Guam and other operational zones in the Pacific as well as all the enemy targets in South Korea and its vicinity," according to the statement.
A Pentagon spokesman responded by saying the threat would only further isolate North Korea.
North Korea is angry over routine U.S.-South Korea military drills and recent U.N. sanctions punishing it for its Feb. 12 nuclear test.