8.15.2017

North Korea leader briefed on Guam missile test plans | North Korea News

North Korea’s leader received a report from his army on its plans to fire missiles towards Guam and said he will watch the actions of the United States for a while longer before making a decision, the North’s official news agency said on Tuesday.

North Korea said last week it was finalising plans to launch four missiles into the waters near the US Pacific territory of Guam, and its army would report the strike plan to leader Kim Jong-un and wait for his order.

Kim, who inspected the command of the North’s army on Monday, examined the plan for a long time and discussed it with army officers, the official KCNA said in a report.

“He said that if the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous 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.

READ MORE: North Korea’s nuclear weapons – Here is what we know

The DPRK stands for North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Pyongyang’s detailed plans for the 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 threatened the US.

Analysing the North Korea crisis

Kim said the US should make the right choice “in order to defuse the tensions and prevent the dangerous military conflict on the Korean peninsula,” the KCNA report said.

The visit to the Strategic Force of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) marks Kim’s first public appearance in about two weeks.

The North’s leader ordered the army should always be fire-ready should he make a decision for action, the report said.

North Korea is angry about new United Nations sanctions over its expanding nuclear weapons and missile programme and annual military drills between Washington and Seoul beginning later this month that Pyongyang condemns as invasion rehearsals.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis warned on Monday that the US military would be prepared to intercept a missile fired by North Korea if it was headed to Guam.

Mattis told reporters that the US military would know the trajectory of a missile fired by North Korea within moments and would “take it out” if it looked like it would hit the US Pacific territory.

“The bottom line is, we will defend the country from an attack; for us (the US military) that is war,” Mattis said.

 

Seeking a ‘peaceful resolution’

Meanwhile, South Korean and US officials have also sought to play down the risks of an imminent conflict, helping soothe global concerns somewhat on Monday.

The top US military officer says the United States wants to peacefully resolve a deepening standoff with North Korea but is also ready to use the “full range” of its military capabilities in case of provocation.

INFOGRAPHIC: North Korea explained in graphics

The comments by Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford in meetings on Monday with senior South Korean military and political officials appeared to be an attempt to ease anxiety over tit-for-tat threats between Trump and North Korea while also showing a willingness to back up Trump’s warnings if necessary.

Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that the US is “seeking a peaceful resolution to the crisis”.

Dunford is visiting South Korea, Japan and China this week.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday called for a peaceful solution to the nuclear standoff, saying that “there must not be another war on the Korean Peninsula”.

 

Source: News agencies

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