North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has called off plans to launch a missile at the U.S. territory of Guam in the Western Pacific.
The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) out of Pyongyang said Tuesday that Kim Jong Un might change his mind “if the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions,” according to reports.
This comes just one day after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that if North Korea did fire a missile at the United States, “it’s game on.”
Rhetoric between the United States and North Korea has lately been nothing short of a soap opera.
Most recently, on August 11 – prior to Mattis’ last comments, President Donald Trump threatened that Kim Jong Un will “truly regret it” if North Korea were to fire any missile.
“If he does anything with respect to Guam, or any place else that’s an American territory or an American ally, he will truly regret it, and he will regret it fast,” Trump said.
North Korea on August 8 threatened to attack Guam with intermediate-range Hwasong-12 missiles, and then said it would continue to plan a strike on the U.S. territory despite warnings from both President Trump and Defense Secretary Mattis, and that plans for the attack would be completed by mid-August. Kim Jong Un has reportedly been briefed on the finalized plans to launch a missile at Guam.
This came on the heels of Trump saying on August 8 that North Korea would be met with “fire and fury” if it continues to threaten the United States. And, Mattis also said North Korea should “cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and destruction of its people.”
Trump later said his “fire and fury” statement might not have been “tough enough,” and the President said August 10 for North Korea to “get their act together” or the country will be in trouble “like few nations have ever been.”
Trump also said August 10 that while Americans should be “very comfortable,” North Koreans should be “very, very nervous […] because things will happen to them like they never thought possible.”
On August 11, Trump tweeted and warned Kim Jong Un that: “Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!”
North Korea had responded to U.S. threats not long before that, saying it considers the United States “no more than a lump which we can beat to a jelly any time.”
The KCNA said then that the White House contained “warmongers” who “are unaware of the fact that even a single shell dropped on the Korean Peninsula might lead to the outbreak of a new world war, a thermonuclear war.”