North Korea leader 'briefed' on Guam missile plan but opts to hold off

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reviewed plans to fire missiles towards the US Pacific territory of Guam but will hold off

15 August 2017, 8:56am
North Korea has stepped up its defiant tone against the US
North Korea has stepped up its defiant tone against the US
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un said Tuesday he would hold off on a planned missile strike near Guam, but warned the highly provocative move would go ahead in the event of further "reckless actions" by Washington.

Although prepared for "the enveloping fire at Guam", the North said it would watch what "the foolish Yankees" do before taking a decision.

"In order to defuse the tensions and prevent the dangerous military conflict on the Korean peninsula, it is necessary for the US to make a proper option first," he added.

Some analysts suggested Kim's comments opened a possible path to de-escalating a growing crisis fuelled by a bellicose war of words between US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leadership.

Their recent exchanges were focused on a North Korean threat to fire a volley of four missiles over Japan towards the US territory of Guam, which hosts a number of strategic military bases.

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in meanwhile has urged the US not to launch an attack on the Korean peninsula without its consent, saying "no one may decide to take military action without the consent" of the South.