Coloradans with family in Guam worried about North Korea threats

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DENVER -- "I'm concerned for my family there."

That is Jessica Pettigrew's reaction when the topic of North Korea comes up.

Pettigrew lived in Guam for five years. Her husband is from there and her child was born there.

Pettigrew said her family is naturally on edge but that the island is prepared.

"When I was there, there was rattling from the North Koreans. They were doing drills in schools for bombs," Pettigrew said.

North Korea is threatening to launch weapons in the direction of Guam, the closest U.S. territory to North Korea.

"My guess is Kim Jong-un will deliver on this threat," said Congressman Mike Coffman, who represents Aurora and sits on the House armed services committee.

Coffman said the military understands why North Korea is targeting the U.S. territory.

"We are getting ready to increase our military presence there. We are moving some forces off Okinawa into Guam," Coffman said.

Coffman stresses North Korea has flown into waters near major countries before -- most notably Japan.

For that reason, Coffman advises that even if North Korea launches missiles into waters near Guam, it should not automatically trigger a war.

"I think we have to be very careful in terms of a military response," Coffman said. "There is enough artillery on the north side of Demilitarized Zone that could level Seoul."