North Korea: Guam locals say they are 'reliving World War II' amid escalating military crisis

North Korea: Guam locals say they are 'reliving World War II' amid escalating military crisis

North Korea: Guam locals say they are 'reliving World War II' amid escalating military crisis

Updated 15 August 2017, 11:40 AEST

As North Korea makes preparations for a potential missile strike on Guam, locals say they feel like they are re-living World War Two at the centre of a geopolitical crisis they never asked for.

As North Korea makes preparations for a potential missile strike on Guam, locals say they feel like they are reliving World War II at the centre of a geopolitical crisis they never asked for.

Residents of the tiny Pacific island, who are confused as to why they have suddenly become the target of a rogue state's nuclear ambitions, on Monday demanded a peaceful solution to the standoff.

Pyeongyang has warned plans for a strike on the US Pacific territory could begin in the middle of this month, leading to locals to dub August 15 "D-day".

Until now, many locals have seemed nonplussed by North Korea's escalating threats, but others are increasingly concerned at the prospect of a looming war.

"We do not ask to be placed under nuclear threat. That's not what we're about," said Kenneth Gofigan Kuper, the organiser of a rally.

"Why are we in the middle of this? What are the factors that led us to become heavily in the national consciousness just because we're a target of nuclear threats?"

Mr Kuper said he could not fathom why a peaceful island had been thrust onto the world stage.

"For the longest time, Guam has been absent from the world consciousness, and all of a sudden we're the target of a possible North Korean nuclear attack and the world's eyes are turned to us," he said.

"Yes, we are a colony of the United States, in which the United States military owns about 27 per cent of the island.

"We want to show that there are 160,000 people who live there.

"We just don't want to be known as this military base."

'It's like reliving World War II'

Many of those taking part in Monday's demonstration were members of Guam's indigenous Chamorro population, who oppose the heavy US military presence on the territory.

Chamorro man Ronald Laguana said his island, which was recaptured from Japanese control during World War II, has already endured too many conflicts and invasions.

"It's a repeat in history, just like World War II, the Japanese and the Americans. That's what it is," Mr Laguana said.

"It's like reliving World War II again, and this is World War III."

Mr Kuper said he did not want to see history repeated and hoped peace could be preserved on the island.

"What we want to show the world is that the people who live here, who call this place home, who wake up and go to sleep on this island, we want peace," he said.

"A lot of our grandparents went through brutal occupation by the Japanese during World War II because we were once again forced into the middle of a large conflict.

"We don't want that to repeat itself in any future generation."