North Korea: We'll Hold Off on Guam Missile Launch

Kim Jong Un has reviewed plans, state media says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2017 3:21 AM CDT
Updated Aug 15, 2017 6:31 AM CDT
Pyongyang: We'll Hold Off on Guam Missile Launch
The launch of a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile in North Korea last month.   (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

North Korea says its plan to fire ICBMs into the waters around Guam is on hold while it waits to see what the "foolish Yankees" do next. North Korean state media said Tuesday that Kim Jong Un has reviewed the plan for "the enveloping fire at Guam," discussed it with military officials, and decided to delay a decision, the BBC reports. The official KCNA news agency said Kim decided to see "if the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions on the Korean peninsula" per Reuters. Pyongyang earlier called for the US to stop flying heavy B-1B bombers around South Korea. The last such flight involving the Pacific island-based bombers was on Aug. 7, the Guardian reports.

With Pyongyang apparently backing away from its harshest rhetoric, South Korean President Moon Jae In also moved to ease tensions, urging the US not to take independent military action against the North and saying "that no one may decide to take military action without the consent" of Seoul. Before Pyongyang's latest statement, US Defense Secretary James Mattis warned that any North Korean missile attack "could escalate into war very quickly." He said that if a missile was launched toward Guam, the US would know "within moments" and would "take it out." (Analysts say Ukrainian engines might be powering North Korea's ICBMs.)

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