North Korea Says It Won't Fire Missiles At Guam After All

A statement on the Russian foreign ministry's website said Russian and China discussed "possible ways out of the confrontational spiral on the Korean Peninsula", and that "military adventures and threats of force" against North Korea were "unacceptable".

The missile plans were previously announced. "I hope they chose to stand with the rest of the world and the United States and create a diplomatic outcome here", Admiral Stavridis said.

"The United States, which was the first to bring numerous strategic nuclear equipment near us, should first make the right decision and show through actions if they wish to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula and prevent a unsafe military clash", Kim was cited as saying in the report by KCNA. He added the US military is prepared to take out any missiles heading toward its territory.

Neither side, however, obtained a military victory.

Defence secretary Jim Mattis warned it would be "game on" for war if North Korea fired missiles that hit the United States or its territories, including the Pacific island of Guam. Furthermore, his father, Kim Jong Il, disappeared for around six weeks after the USA invaded Iraq in 2003, prompting speculation that he simply may have felt threatened.

"The U.S. has no interest in regime change or accelerated reunification of Korea".

The North has always denounced the drills as provocative rehearsals for invasion and has in the past offered a moratorium on further nuclear and missile testing in exchange for their cancellation - a trade-off promoted by Beijing, but repeatedly rejected by Washington and Seoul. It also could mean the B-1B bombers that the US occasionally flies over the Korean Peninsula as a show of force.

Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reaffirmed the United States commitment to protect South Korea after a meeting with President Moon Jae-in, spokesman Park Su-hyun told reporters in Seoul on Monday.

"Military action on the Korean Peninsula can only be decided by South Korea and no one else can decide to take military action without the consent of South Korea", said Moon in televised comments.

On Guam, the territory's Homeland Security office says two radio stations aired "an unscheduled test of the Emergency Alert Broadcast System" shortly after midnight, which "residents and visitors may have noticed".

"The government, putting everything on the line, will block war by all means", Moon said.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, U.S. chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, met South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-Moo on Monday.

But U.S. intelligence officials said on Tuesday that North Korea has the ability to produce its own missile engines and intelligence suggests the country does not need to rely on imports.

But after he made the threat, China warned that North Korea will be on its own "if it launches missiles threatening USA soil and there is retaliation".

North Korea is backing off a threat to fire missiles at the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, according to a new report. "The bottom line is we will defend the country from an attack".

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. Since two to three million people in North Korea are near starvation, reports that non-elite ground units are short on rations have credibility. 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.

Lobbing missiles toward Guam would be a deeply provocative act from the United States perspective, and a miscalculation on either side could lead to a military clash. Kim said if the "planned fire of power demonstration" is carried out because of USA 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". North Korea fields a huge conventional force, but one armed with many poorly maintained and obsolete weapons. However, the official cautioned that it's not believed to be directly related to the threat issued by North Korea last week to shoot four Hwasong missles 30-40 kilometers off of Guam's waters.

Vanessa Coleman

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