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Trump declared that 'Guam isn't America' when he was warned that the US territory could be vulnerable to a North Korean nuclear strike, report says

Former President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
Former President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.Anna Moneymaker and Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images
  • Trump was reportedly warned of the threat that North Korean nuclear aggression could pose to Guam.

  • He reportedly replied to former Chief of Staff John Kelly the US territory "isn't America."

  • Guam has been under American control for over 120 years and its residents are US citizens.

When tensions escalated between the United States and North Korea early in former President Donald Trump's term, the US territory of Guam was particularly vulnerable.

The island, home to roughly 170,000 residents, sits in the Pacific Ocean hundreds of miles away from the Philippines, and sits within the range of North Korean missiles.

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And according to a new report in The Atlantic, Trump was directly warned by then-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly about the unique threat that the island would face if North Korea were to start firing off nuclear weapons.

But Trump, according to the report, wasn't especially concerned.

"Guam isn't America," he reportedly told Kelly.

While the US territory is not a state, it has been in American hands since 1898, when the US took control of the island after the Spanish-American War. During World War II, the island was particularly important for the American military as it waged war against Japan across the Pacific Ocean.

Additionally, residents of Guam are considered US citizens, and are allowed to vote if they reside in one of the 50 states.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

 

Read the original article on Business Insider