North Korea leader holds off on Guam missile plan

Lester Mason
August 15, 2017

China's state-run news agency Xinhua reported earlier in the day that President Xi Jinping had called on US President Donald Trump to exercise restraint in his war of words with North Korea.

He said previous presidents had also used strong words to warn off Pyongyang, pointing out Barack Obama said a year ago that "we could, obviously, destroy North Korea with our arsenals".

French President Emmanuel Macron has called on all sides in the North Korean nuclear crisis to act responsibly "to prevent any escalation of tensions" after a days-long war of words between Washington and Pyongyang.

North Korea's has today repeated previous assertions that its plan was to fire missiles to land in the ocean "near" Guam, not at Guam itself.

President Donald Trump is seeking continued help from China's president in addressing the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear developments.

The North then came out with a threat to lob four intermediate-range "Hwasong-12" missiles near Guam, a tiny United States territory some 3,200 km (2,000 miles) from Pyongyang.

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

But the report said he would watch U.S. actions before making a decision on "the enveloping fire at Guam".

But Trump on Friday appeared to set another red line - the mere utterance of threats - that would trigger a USA attack against North Korea and "big, big trouble" for Kim.

Guam and the USA air and naval forces that are based there have been under alert since it was named by North Korea as a potential demonstration target, with the regime threatening to fire missiles into the sea near the island that's home to some 160,000 people.

The two leaders also reiterated a commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The two envoys reportedly first engaged in negotiating the release of US college student Otto Warmbier two months ago.

The Judiciary of Guam conducted an all-day seminar Tuesday, as employees got a refresher on the judiciary's response plan for a nuclear threat.

So are we all headed toward war?

"There is no stepping back for North Korea".

Washington has previously said it will consider talks with Pyongyang if it agrees to give up its nuclear weapons program, a pre-condition North Korean officials have described as a non-starter.

Another DPRK statement this morning attacked planned US-South Korea "Freedom Guardian" military drills scheduled for August 21.

Officials have told USA media that spy satellites have observed DPRK mobile missile launcher movement, indicating an intermediate-ballistic missile may be being prepared.

On Guam, home to a USA air base, a Navy installation, a Coast Guard group and roughly 6,000 US military personnel, residents expressed some relief at the lessening of tensions.

Asked if the United States was going to war, he said: "I think you know the answer to that".

On Monday, the Kiev government denied the technology used in the North Korean missiles had come from the company. Analysts said that a wide swath of the continental United States, including Los Angeles and Chicago, could be within reach of those missiles, once they're perfected.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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