North Korea‘s widely publicized plan to launch missiles near the United States territory of Guam has been canceled.
DPRK’s military confirmed in earlier statements that nuclear warheads would be ready to launch on 15 August, pending approval from Kim Jong Un, who has decided to postpone the attack following joint sanctions, diplomatic meetings, and counter-threats from the US President Donald Trump.
Pyongyang said on Tuesday through it’s state-owned media that it will hold off the scheduled attack while watching further actions from the US and South Korean government which has called for a peaceful resolution to the diplomatic tensions.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said the United States will not take military actions against their neighbor, adding that Seoul’s consent would be necessary for such decisions to be taken.
Image: Kim Jong Un
Jae-in highlighted that his government wants to prevent war by all means.
“Military action on the Korean peninsula can only be decided by South Korea and no one else can decide to embark on such wars without the consent of South Korea,” he said in a speech at the anniversary event held to commemorate his nation’s liberation from Japanese military rule in 1945.
“The government will risk everything to end the looming war by all means,” Moon added.
KCNA confirmed Kim Jong Un’s visit to the command of North Korea’s army on Monday. He reportedly carried out an inspection of the plan to launch a total of four missiles near Guam.
It was the president’s first public appearance since two weeks, the news outlet said.
“Kim Jong Un said that if the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous and thoughtless actions on the Korean peninsula and in its environs, testing our reasoning and military power, the DPRK will make an important decision as it already declared,” KCNA confirmed.
DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
China, in its mediator roles, has urged North Korea to halt its weapons building programme.
Xi Jingpin’s government also advised the US and South Korea to desist from further military drills in the region as part of their contributions to lowering tensions.
The US-South Korean military drills scheduled to kick-off next week will likely escalate tensions, and as Global Times noted, the timing coincides with a rare celebration observed by both North and South — the Liberation Day holiday.
According to the news outlet, “This upcoming drill will definitely drive Pyongyang to some unexpected actions which could be radical in nature.
“If South Korea really wants no war on the Korean Peninsula, it should try to stop this military exercise,” the paper said in its editorial.
While some military strategists believe DPRK has been bluffing, Kim Dong-yub, a professor and a military expert at Kyungnam University’s Institute of Far Eastern Studies located in Seoul, says no government should underestimate the North.
Image: Kim Jong Un
Technically, both US, South Korea and DPRK have been at war since their 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a truce, but without a peace treaty.
“There is no stepping back for North Korea,” said Kim Dong-yub.
“Those who don’t know the North very well fall into this trap every time, wrongly thinking they are easing threats which will always be there.”