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Guam residents feel patriotism but worry grows

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The Latest: Guam residents feel patriotism but worry grows

Excessive geopolitical fears surrounding North Korea seemed to have receded, traders say, but activity is expected to stay subdued with Japanese markets closed on Friday.

Residents woke up Thursday to another pointed threat from Pyongyang, which vowed to complete a plan to attack waters near the island by mid-August.

The American military presence on Guam consists of two bases: Andersen Air Force Base in the north and Naval Base Guam in the south. "They are here to protect the islands, just in case something happens".

The possibility of a nuclear confrontation is considered remote.

President Donald Trump responded that perhaps his "fire and fury" warning "wasn't tough enough".

"The market has calmed down a bit, as they remember that the market did not suffer a major damage in April after North Korea filed a missile", said Hiroyuki Nakai, chief strategist at Tokai Tokyo Research Center. Their location in a US territory means its military is just hours from potential flashpoints in the western Pacific.

Guam is strategically located a short flight from the Korean peninsula and other potential flashpoints in East Asia.

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THE QUOTE: "Risk-averse sentiment is dominating global equities markets, and USA indices have retraced from record levels over the last two days".

Investors had sold riskier assets after strongly worded exchanges between Washington and North Korea late on Tuesday. They threatened USA, other countries, and they threaten Guam. "I feel safe with our military presence here - Andersen and the Navy". Altogether, 7,000 USA military personnel are stationed on Guam.

The naval base dates to 1898, when the US took over Guam from Spain after the Spanish-American War.

But there's also some resentment about not being able to vote in the general election for US president. The air base was built in 1944, when the US was preparing to send bombers to Japan during World War II. The U.S. took back control of Guam on July 21, 1944. Its proximity to China, Japan, the Philippines and the Korean Peninsula has long made the island an essential possession of the US military. Chamorros are the indigenous people of Guam. It is about 2,200 miles (3,500 km) southeast of North Korea, much closer than it is to any of the United States. "Few participants, however, think that North Korea would actually strike Guam at this juncture". While already taking up 30 percent of the island, the American military has been seeking to increase its presence by relocating to Guam thousands of Marines who are now based in Okinawa, Japan.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has reportedly made the country's nuclear arms programme a priority. In 2013, the Army sent a missile defense system to Guam called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense or THAAD. Jennifer Sinco Kelleher in Honolulu and Jocelyn Gecker in San Francisco contributed reporting.

McAvoy reported from Honolulu.

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