The following is an excerpt from Abigail Abrams | August 10, 2017 | Time.com |
North Korea’s announcement this week that it is preparing plans to fire four missiles near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam has heightened the tensions between Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump.
After Trump on Tuesday appeared to threaten nuclear war against North Korea by promising “fire and fury like the world has never seen,” Pyongyang responded Wednesday that it was “carefully examining the operational plan for making an enveloping fire at the areas around Guam,” according to Reuters.
As many Americans wade through the back-and-forth threats between the two nations, they may be wondering how exactly Guam ended up in the middle of this war of words. Here’s what you need to know about Guam, and why it’s under fire.
What is Guam?
A tiny island in the Pacific Ocean, Guam stretches 30 miles long, and is just 12 miles wide at its largest point.
The United States took Guam from Spain in 1898 during the Spanish-American War, and the island soon became an important U.S. military outpost. During World War II, the Japanese seized Guam after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, but the U.S. took the island back in 1944.
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