N Korea backs away from plan to launch missiles toward Guam

17-Aug-2017 Intellasia | CBS News | 6:00 AM Print This Post

After a week of escalating nuclear tensions between the US and North Korea, North Korea took a step back Tuesday. That has people breathing easier on Guam and in Seoul.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was presented with the plans to launch four ballistic missiles toward the island of Guam, but he decided to hold off… for now.

According to North Korean state media, he said he will “watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees.”

“This message from Kim Jong Un is definitely a de-escalation,” says professor John Delury of international studies at Yonsei University.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) visits the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun on the 22nd anniversary of demise of North Korea founder Kim Il Sung in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Friday.(Reuters)

He says North Korea may be signaling that it wants to start a dialogue despite the heated rhetoric from both sides.

“This is not a big victory for Kim Jong Un. It’s also not a humiliation,” Delury told CBS News. “It shows that he’s in command of his military. It shows that he can bring things up and he can also back them down.”

They may be breathing a sigh of relief on Guam, but South Korean president Moon Jae-in says North Korea’s missiles remain the biggest challenge facing his country.

Moon said Tuesday no onenot even the UScan start a war on the Korean peninsula without South Korea’s consent.

Protesters in Seoul called for peace and were critical of President Trump, who they think has made tensions worse.

The US and South Korea are still set to conduct joint military exercises here in South Korea next week and that will likely antagonise North Korea. It considers those exercises rehearsals for war.




Category: Korea

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