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Guamanians in DC react to North Korean threat to fire 4 missiles into waters near Guam

Guamanians in DC react to North Korean threat to fire 4 missiles into waters near Guam. (ABC7)

For Guam native Margaret Metcalfe, these are not easy days.

"As it's escalated, I've gotten a little bit more concerned for my family members," she says. "I don't want to be worried. How can you not be?"

Metcalfe is not just the director of Guam Governor Eddie Calvo's Washington Office--- she's also his aunt, with hundreds of family members living on the small island territory.

She is well aware that North Korea leader Kim Jong Un has vowed to fire four missiles into the waters near Guam, as early as next week.

"We're 35 by 8 miles wide," she declares. "You don't even have to hit us, to make a difference."

Metcalfe says she calls or skypes home at least once a day.

She and her husband Chris, a retired banker who worked in Guam for twenty years, are keeping close watch on actions by North Korea.

"When you're in Guam, and you're so far away from the United States, you feel more vulnerable," he says. "There is no panic or anything of that nature. Just general concern, but again, life goes on."

Guam is about 2000 miles from North Korea.

It would take about four hours to take a flight from one country to the other.

But a military missile could make the trip in about 12 minutes.

President Trump is vowing to not let that happen.

"Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely," he tweeted out. "Hopefully, Kim Jong Un will find another path."

Calvo, who is not raising the threat level, is calling for Guamanians to be on alert, but not panic.

The government is passing out leaflets, about how to prepare for an imminent missile attack.

But on this Friday, many people appeared to try to keep to their routines--- dining out, shopping, or going to the beach.

"I think one of the safest places to be, is wherever they're aiming," says Kenneth Guerrero, a Guam resident.

Guam and the nearby Marianas Islands have a total population of about 160,000 people.

With 7000 military personnel, the territory is bristling with defensive firepower.

"We are probably one of the most protected areas in the world," Metcalfe says.

The island has a defense system called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, designed to shoot down missiles in their descent stage.

Metcalfe also says Guam's Anderson Air Force Base is the largest in the Pacific.

"We have ground to air missiles, we have water to air missiles, we have technology that interrrupts other technology," she says.

Meanwhile, the Metcalfes say, people are stocking up on food and water, keeping close watch on their children, and just trying to live their lives.

The couple says Guamanians are very patriotic, with strong religious beliefs.

"Even within the population, one out of every eight is a US Veteran," Chris Metcalfe says. "When the governor tells them there are multiple layers of defense between us and the people in North Korea, they believe it."

During this stressful period, Margaret Metcalfe says she'll continue touching base with family back home, asking if there's anything she can do to help.

"We have to believe that there's no one in this world that wants to bring death upon their own family and friends and nation, and that reason will prevail," she says.

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