North Korea holds off on Guam missile plan

Guam tourism sees silver lining in North Korean threats

North Korea holds off on Guam missile plan

North Korea's military has said it plans to fire four medium- to long-range missiles at the US Pacific territory and is waiting for approval from the nation's leader Kim Jong Un.

But after hearing the plan and considering it, Kim opted not to give the order to launch missiles, but instead "would watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees", the report says. But it also reported that leader Kim Jong Un would watch USA conduct before giving his orders for the test.

Trump may not understand what his own words mean, but he is threatening to attack North Korea if it makes any more threats to the United States.

The address came on the anniversary of the liberation of the Korean peninsula from Japanese occupation at the end of World War II, an important holiday in both North and South Korea.

Mattis told reporters that the U.S. military would know the trajectory of a missile within moments and would "take it out" if it looked like it would hit the U.S. Pacific territory. But US officials say they may be misreading US capabilities - the US has other assets in the region, mainly Navy ships that could shoot down the missiles as well as THAAD. It's reasonable then to assume they'll serve as a firewall against any irrational step by Kim, such as his promise to nuke Guam, the nearest USA outpost.

The comments came after Trump unleashed a slew of fresh threats against North Korea on Friday, declaring the USA military "locked and loaded".

"I think we should get more out of this relationship than what we are getting now", he said.

The island's sandy beaches and aquamarine waters make it a popular getaway for travelers from Japan and South Korea.

"It just looks like a lovely place", he says.

In July, the isolated nation test-launched intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs, that can reportedly deliver nuclear warheads to targets thousands of miles away.

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Trump told Guam's Republican governor the global attention would send more tourists to the island. They knew, however, that if they could ideal both the world's first ballistic missiles and win the race to an atomic bomb, they would become virtually unassailable.

Even with North Korea and the Trump administration exchanging tough talk, back-channel diplomatic contacts between the countries have continued, The Associated Press reported Saturday.

Guam officials are taking the latest missive from North Korea as a sign that the rhetoric is calming down.

The United States has missile defenses on Guam, at sea and in the continental USA that are created to shoot down ballistic missiles. Chinese entities are, in one way or another, involved with roughly 90% of North Korean trade.

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.

But he also made clear that while the military was poised to protect Guam from the North Korean military threat, a declaration of war was a decision that remains with Trump and Congress.

Trump's pugnacious public talk is matched by his private conversations with aides and allies.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula tend to increase when Seoul and Washington launch major military joint exercises, and the next, Ulchi Freedom Guardian, is set to kick off around August 21. Charfauros says he believes this is likely linked to the celebration of Korea's independence day and not linked to any plans to shoot missiles towards Guam. He added, "And frankly, you could've said that for the last three presidents". "And I think China will do a lot more".

We are used to painting North Korea as "unpredictable", but Kim Jong Un's single-minded determination to develop a fully-fledged nuclear deterrent has defined a remarkable continuity to his six-year rule, setting aside the question whether the young man's motivations are defensive or aggressive. But it can have enough of them to carry out a "revenge from the grave" and impose unacceptable losses on the US if it attacks North Korea.

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