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North Korea Decides To Postpone Nuclear Armageddon - For Now

15/08/2017 9:02 PM AEST | Updated 15/08/2017 9:02 PM AEST

Kim Jong-Un has said he will hold off from annihilating the Pacific island of Guam and potentially sparking a global nuclear conflict whilst he watches the “foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees” a little more.

On Tuesday the North Korean leader was presented with proposals to “wring the windpipes of the Yankees” as he inspected the army’s Strategic Forces.

He praised the military for drawing up a “close and careful plan” to launch nuclear missiles into the waters as he sat at a table with a large map marked by a straight line between northeastern North Korea and Guam. 

KCNA KCNA / Reuters
Solid plan.

Kim added North Korea would conduct the launches if the “Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions on the Korean Peninsula and its vicinity,” and that the United States should “think reasonably and judge properly” to avoid shaming itself, the North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency said.

Rhetoric and quaint insults aside, the latest comments from Kim Jong-Un does indicate the tense stand-off between North Korea and President Trump is showing signs of de-escalating.

Kim’s comments, however, with their conditional tone, seemed to hold out the possibility that friction could ease if the United States made some sort of gesture that Pyongyang considered a move to back away from previous “extremely dangerous reckless actions”.

KCNA KCNA / Reuters
The Command of the Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in an unknown location in North Korea.

That could refer to the US-South Korean military drills set to begin Monday, which the North claims are rehearsals for invasion.

It also could refer to the B-1B bombers the US has occasionally flown over the Korean Peninsula as a show of force, reports the Associated Press.

The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, on Monday met with senior South Korean military and political officials and the local media, and made comments that appeared to be an attempt to ease anxiety while also showing a willingness to back Trump’s warnings if need be.

Dunford said the United States wants to peacefully resolve tensions with North Korea, but Washington is also ready to use the “full range” of its military capabilities in case of provocation.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, meanwhile, a liberal who favors engagement with the North, urged North Korea to stop provocations and to commit to talks over its nuclear weapons program.

Moon, in a televised speech Tuesday on the anniversary of the end of World War II and the Korean Peninsula’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule, said that Seoul and Washington agree that the crisis over the North’s nuclear program should “absolutely be solved peacefully,” and that no U.S. military action on the Korean Peninsula could be taken without Seoul’s consent.

He said the North could create conditions for talks by stopping nuclear and missile tests.

“Our government will put everything on the line to prevent another war on the Korean Peninsula,” Moon said. “Regardless of whatever twist and turns we could experience, the North Korean nuclear program should absolutely be solved peacefully, and the (South Korean) government and the US government don’t have a different position on this.”

But next week’s start of US-South Korean military exercises that enrage the North each year make it unclear, however, if diplomacy will prevail.

North Korea’s military had said last week it would finalise and send to Kim for approval the plan to fire four ballistic missiles near Guam, which is about 3,200 kilometres (2,000 miles) from Pyongyang.

The plans are based on the Hwasong-12, a new missile the country successfully flight-tested for the first time in May. The liquid-fuel missile is designed to be fired from road mobile launchers and has been previously described by North Korea as built for attacking Alaska and Hawaii.

The North followed the May launch with two flight tests of its Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile last month. Analysts said that a wide swath of the continental United States, including Los Angeles and Chicago, could be within reach of those missiles, once they’re perfected.

The North’s latest report said Kim ordered his military to be prepared to launch the missiles toward Guam at any time. Kim said that if the “planned fire of power demonstration” is carried out because of US recklessness, it will be “the most delightful historic moment when the Hwasong artillerymen will wring the windpipes of the Yankees and point daggers at their necks,” the North reported. 

KCNA KCNA / Reuters

 

North Korea is angry about new United Nations sanctions over its expanding nuclear weapons and missile program and the upcoming military drills between Washington and Seoul.

Kim said the United States must “make a proper option first and show it through action, as it committed provocations after introducing huge nuclear strategic equipment into the vicinity of the peninsula” and that it “should stop at once arrogant provocations” against North Korea, state media said.

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