L'île de Guam au cœur des tensions entre les États-Unis et la Corée du Nord

13 Août, 2017, 09:59 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • Reuters

La Corée du Nord a annoncé jeudi 10 août qu'elle peaufinait un plan pour tirer quatre missiles de portée intermédiaire vers l'île de Guam, un territoire américain situé dans l'ouest de l'océan Pacifique. Voici cinq caractéristiques de cet îlot, essentiel pour les États-Unis d'un point de vue militaire. Guam, île de 550 km2 (l'équivalent d'Ibiza), a été découverte en 1521 par le navigateur portugais Magellan, puis occupée dès 1526 par l'Espagne.

En 1898, le traité de Paris clôt la guerre hispano-américaine. Durant la guerre du Vietnam (1955 - 1975), Guam a été le point de départ des bombardiers B-52 chargés d'attaquer Hanoï.

Des droits limités pour les habitants.

Guam détient donc le statut de "territoire non incorporé organisé des Etats-Unis", à l'instar de Porto Rico ou des îles Vierges américaines. Environ 40% de sa population de 162.000 habitants est composé du peuple indigène Chamorro, et de Philippins pour 25%.

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Des voix s'élèvent régulièrement pour demander un référendum d'autodétermination, rejeté par la justice fédérale américaine. Guam devient une colonie américaine.

Concernant Guam, le républicain Eddie Calvo occupe depuis 2011 la fonction de gouverneur.

Un paradis pour les touristes.

L'armée américaine contribue de façon importante à l'économie locale, également dépendante du tourisme. Le PIB par habitant s'élevait à 35.439 dollars en 2015, soit un peu moins que la France (36.527 dollars). Son emplacement, à distance de tir des missiles nord-coréens et son importance stratégique pour les États-Unis en font une cible de choix pour Pyongyang, qui a déclaré "envisager avec attention" la possibilité de "faire feu" autour de ce territoire avec une fusée balistique. Si le venin de ce serpent n'est pas mortel pour l'homme, il a déjà détruit de nombreuses espèces d'oiseaux et de lézards.

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