Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, has ordered the army to be ready to launch should he make the decision for military action. Meanwhile, plans to fire missiles towards Guam has been put on hold as the leader said he will watch the actions of the United States before making a decision to fire.
North Korea said last week it was finalising plans to launch four missiles into the waters near the United States Pacific territory of Guam, and its army would report the strike plan to Kim and wait for his order.
“He said if the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions on the Korean peninsula and in its vicinity, testing the self-restraint of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the latter will make an important decision as it already declared.”
Pyongyang’s threat to strike near Guam prompted a surge in tensions in the region last week, with US President Donald Trump warning he would unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea if it did so.
Kim said the United States should make the right choice “in order to defuse the tensions and prevent the dangerous military conflict on the Korean peninsula”.
A statement from the White house read thus
”President Trump reaffirmed that the United States stands ready to defend and respond to any threat or actions taken by North Korea against the United States or its allies, South Korea and Japan.”
Moon Jae-in, South Korean President said that there would be no military action without Seoul’s consent and his government would prevent war by all means.
“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.”
US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis warned that the US military would be prepared to intercept a missile fired by North Korea if it was headed to Guam.
“The bottom line is, we will defend the country from an attack. For us that is war.”
Correspondents say that after days of menacing threats it might seem that Kim Jong-un could be in the mood to finally hit the pause button, but in a nation as secretive as North Korea, one can never be sure.
Experts say it could simply mean Pyongyang is not fully ready to launch an attack on Guam, so it could just be buying more time.