North Korea Says It Won't Fire Missiles At Guam After All

Cheryl Sanders
August 16, 2017

Soon after Mattis's warning, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, reportedly, reviewed his military's plan to launch missiles at Guam.

His remarks prompted joy in Guam, where officials described themselves as "almost ecstatic that Kim Jong-Un has backed off".

"The reaction in North Korea that we are intending to get is an is an understanding that America is no longer going to have the strategic patience that it's had that has permitted him to continue to develop his weapons program", Pompeo said.

But Mattis told reporters that war could break out if North Korea were to fire a missile at the United States.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, U.S. chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, met South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-Moo on Monday.

After the fiery war of words between North Korea and the United States last week, the world is breathing a little easier as the two sides dialled their rhetoric down by a notch this week.

"The U.S. has no interest in regime change or accelerated reunification of Korea".

A local news program reporting on North Korea's threats to strike Guam with ballistic missiles.

"Military action on the Korean peninsula can only be decided by South Korea and no one else can decide to take military action without the consent of South Korea", Moon said in a speech to commemorate the anniversary of the nation's liberation from Japanese military rule in 1945.

China is the North's biggest economic partner and source of aid, but says it alone can't compel its wayward ally to end its nuclear and missile programs. The liquid-fuel missile is created to be fired from road mobile launchers and has been described by North Korea as built for attacking Alaska and Hawaii.

The United States and South Korea insist their annual joint exercises are purely defensive, and can not be linked to the North's missile program, which violates a host of UN resolutions.

Meanwhile, North Korea and the United States are "maintaining a pretty regular and open channel of exchanges" through the "New York" channel, an unofficial line of communication between the two countries which gets shut off during more tense exchanges.

Kim received the briefing on Monday when he inspected the command of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Strategic Force, the North's Korea Central News Agency said on Tuesday.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said the United States would take out any such missile seen to be heading for American soil and declared any such North Korean attack could mean war. "We do not seek an excuse to garrison USA troops north of the Demilitarized Zone", the officials said, addressing some of Pyongyang's fears that Washington ultimately intends to replace the reclusive country's leadership.

Backing the possibility of an imminent test, 38 North continued, were reports that the North recently held ejection tests of the cold-launch system, in which a missile is propelled by compressed gas before the engine ignites, preventing damage to the submarine.

The North followed the May launch with two flight tests of its Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile last month. Indeed North Korea's latest statement calls for the U.S. to stop provocations, and accuses the U.S. of pushing the Korean Peninsula to the brink of war.

Guam hosts a number of U.S. strategic military bases.

New U.N. sanctions condemning North Korea's rapidly developing nuclear program drew fresh ire and threats from the North. Trump, responding to a report that USA intelligence indicates Pyongyang can now put a nuclear warhead on its long-range missiles, vowed to rain down "fire and fury" if challenged.

The report highlights that while the world is used to colourful and bellicose statements from North Korea, "the situation is now more concerning than perhaps at any other time over the past 20 years".

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