Threat level unchanged despite N. Korea missiles crisis - Guam govt.

Aug 18, 2017, 00:31
Threat level unchanged despite N. Korea missiles crisis - Guam govt.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has reportedly finished reviewing a plan to fire four missiles off Guam, saying he's waiting to see what the "foolish Yankees" do next.

KCNA said Mr Kim was briefed on the "plan for an enveloping fire at Guam" during yesterday's inspection of the Strategic Force command in charge of the nuclear-armed state's missile units.

"He said that if the Yankees persist in their extremely unsafe reckless actions on the Korean Peninsula and in its vicinity, testing the self-restraint of the DPRK, the latter will make an important decision as it already declared", the report said.

The article took a softer tone on North Korea than the president, who warned Pyongyang last week of "fire and fury" if it launched an attack.

"Our government will put everything on the line to prevent another war on the Korean Peninsula", Moon said.

Trump tweeted early Wednesday that Kim had "made a very wise and well reasoned decision", amid indications North Korea had decided not to proceed with its multiple missile launch.

North Korea regards the USA exercises with South Korea and Japan as preparations for invasion.

Tensions have increased as North Korea advanced toward being able to hit the mainland United States with a nuclear-armed missile.

Defence secretary James Mattis said the U.S. military would know the trajectory of a missile fired from North Korea within moments and would take it out if it looked like it was going to hit the small Pacific island. But until North Korea demonstrates its seriousness by halting its missile and nuclear weapons program, there litterally is nothing to talk about.

The U.S. territory is a small island about 3,200 kilometers (2,000 miles) from Pyongyang.

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But given the North's brutal volatility and its long record of sudden, unprovoked murderous attacks, is "sit back and wait" a gamble we really wish to take?

The comments, while typically belligerent, are significant because they also appeared to signal a path to defuse a deepening crisis with Washington over a weapons program that is seen as nearing the ability to accurately send a nuclear missile to the US mainland.

During a televised briefing, Moon's defense minister, Song Young-moo, told Parliament that North Korea's nuclear weapons development program had not reached its final stage.

"In the interest of regional stability, he said the USA views with growing urgency the need for China to increase pressure on the North Korean regime", the spokesman said.

Beijing had pledged to fully enforce the latest sanctions after the United States accused China of not doing enough to rein in its neighbour, which relies heavily on the Asian giant for its economic survival.

However, China says sanctions are not the final way to resolve the issue, and has repeatedly called for a return to diplomacy and the restart of a six-party talks process with North Korea, which includes China, the two Koreas, the United States, Russia and Japan and which collapsed in 2008. Overall, the path the Trump Administration is taking is definitely more assuring than the imaginary "red line" policy of the Obama years. It means persuading China of the benefits it would realize from helping to bring about a post-Kim North Korea. -South Korean military drills that are scheduled to begin next week.

The U.N. came to a unanimous vote to ban critical exports from the Communist nation, after North Korea conducted two more missile tests, in July 2017.

He later added that the USA military is "locked and loaded" to respond to its provocations.

"The issue of detained Americans is not a subject of discussion given the current state of... relations", a spokesman for the North's foreign ministry was quoted as saying by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

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