Even as President Donald Trump says the U.S. military is "locked and loaded" to potentially unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea, the two feuding countries have been holding secretive, back-channel talks, The Associated Press reported Friday.
Donald Trump has told Guam's Governor North Korea's threat to launch a missile strike near the remote Pacific island will boost tourism, while assuring the politician the USA stands behind the territory "1,000 per cent".
"It is business as usual" on the island, as the Guam Chamber of Commerce said earlier this week in response to North Korea's threats. "It looks handsome, you know I'm watching.it's such a big story in the news, it just looks like a handsome place".
"The circumstances are unfortunate, but this is a good opportunity for us to educate the world about Guam and our culture, about where we are and who we are", Josh Tyquiengco, the bureau's marketing director, told the Agence France-Presse.
As the head of the Government of Guam, I appreciate their reassurances that my family, my friends, everyone on this island, are all safe.
Calvo posted a video of the conversation to Facebook.
It comes as residents of Guam are issued with advice on what to do if North Korea launches an attack. "So I congratulate you".
Stocks in Europe and Asia Slip as North Korea Tensions Rise
The reclusive state raised the stakes further with a detailed plan to send a salvo of missiles towards the USA territory of Guam. The dollar was at an eight-week low against the Japanese yen during Asian trading.
Calvo answers, "as the governor of Guam representing the people of Guam and as an American citizen, I never felt more safe or confident than with you at the helm". He said: 'We are with you a thousand percent.
The talks ramped up after President Donald Trump's inauguration, according to the source familiar with the negotiations, with the US side aiming to secure the release of Warmbier and the other Americans held in North Korea.
Calvo said Trump told him that the USA was "one thousand per cent" behind Guam - a message he said (in a special video to the people) was appreciated by everyone: "He is providing a very clear message that any threat to Americans, whether it is here in our island paradise in the western Pacific, or in California, or in NY... that he will ensure our protection".
Unprompted, Trump offered this assessment: "Eddie, I have to tell you, you've become extremely famous. It just looks like a lovely place". And Trump seems to believe there's no such thing as bad publicity.
'North Korea's behaviour has been belligerent, its language has been bellicose and it's no surprise that the United States has responded forcefully, ' he said.
Having said this the Governor's office has also stated that should a real emergency arise then Guam Homeland Security will deploy mass alerts to warn people as far as is possible.