There should be a “more aggressive position from all countries” in dealing with North Korea, the governor of Guam has told Sky News.
On the eve of military drills in the Asia-Pacific region which North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could view as provocative, Eddie Calvo also told us about his take on a phone call from President Trump, who said the crisis – which has seen North Korea threaten to strike the US territory with missiles – could be good for tourism.
When I asked the governor if he thought the comment was flippant in the face of a possible nuclear war, he said: “I didn’t take it as an insult.
“Some people in parts of the world are saying he’s taking it lightly but that’s how the President says things.”
Speaking to Sky News exclusively in the kitchen of his personal home, where he got the call, Mr Calvo told us he had been in the garden tending his chickens when he got the call from Mr Trump.
He said there had been a call from the Situation Room from chief of staff John Kelly a few minutes before – but he had no idea the President himself was about to then phone.
He said: “When your son comes to you and says: ‘Dad, the President is on the phone,’ you don’t try to keep the President waiting. So I moved as quickly as I can to get in here and take the call.
“In the typical language he uses he said we’re a thousand per cent we’re safe.
“For me, the President calling to the governor of a territory that’s threatened gives reassurance that all is well and that’s comforting.”
North Korea said it was drawing up plans to fire four missiles into the sea off Guam – and in a high stakes war of words with the US, Mr Trump told Kim Jong Un he would unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea if it threatened America or its allies.
Mr Calvo said: “Terrorists want to get you to break your life pattern so that you are in a state of fear. I think Kim Jong Un also works that way.
“If the objective was fear, the objective has not been met. So for all those critics of the conversation, if we were to show panic and fear and change our lives because of threats made for Kim then half the battle has been won.
“So I’m glad our President called us up and said Guam is a beautiful place.”
With military drills in the region having the potential to reignite the war of words – or worse – Mr Calvo said of the North Korean leader: “This man is dangerous and we can not see him in charge of nuclear weapons.
“I think even China and Russia figured that out because of the most recent vote in the nations for the toughest sanctions ever.
“I think it’s time for strategic patience to end… and now there has to be a more aggressive position from all countries including US, Japan and South Korea, but also China and Russia to ensure that there is now a move in the opposite direction to take nuclear technology and ICB weapons away from North Korea.
“Everything short of war.”