North Korea Backs Down, Won't Bomb Guam

World War III was like five minutes from happening, but Kim Jong-un has backed down from his hollow threat to bomb Guam. He backed down for now, but has warned that the heightened tensions are far from over. Mr Kim said he would watch the ‘foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees’ a little more before deciding whether to give the order for the missile test, the Korean Central News Agency said. He had apparently been briefed on his military’s plans to launch missiles in waters near Guam.

In his first public appearance in about two weeks, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un inspected the troops of his army on Monday, examining a plan to fire four missiles to land near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, an official KCNA said in a report. This announcement comes only days after the Korean People’s Army announced it is preparing to create ‘enveloping fire’ near the US military base in the Pacific.

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Kim Jong-un could change his view "if the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions,” North Korean state media warned.  Personally, I'm a Mets fan.  But 'Yankees' work too.  Of all the crazy things that Jon-un and his family have made over the years, this is the first time, that I know of, that the rogue state has officially 'backed down' from a war of words or sanctions.

I use the phrase 'backed down' lightly, as, to this point, his regime's strongest threats have never been carried out.  Sure, if you consider shooting some missiles, usually failing, into the ocean after being told not to, they have carried on anyway.  Much like a spoiled toddler when you tell him 'no'. The announcement was given not long after Defense Secretary James "Mad Dog" Mattis warned that an attack could quickly turn to war, although it’s unclear if the events were linked.

“If they fire at the United States it could escalate into war very quickly,” Secretary Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon. “That’s called war, if they shoot at us ... You don’t shoot at people in this world unless you want to bear the consequences.”  I would not want to be any foe that has words like that directed at me, from a man such as "Mad Dog" Mattis either!  Especially when there is a nationalistic, no BS president standing behind him with a 'bigly' thumbs up!

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Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also mentioned during a visit to South Korea on Monday that the United States wants to resolve these tensions peacefully.  He added that the US is also ready to use the ‘full range’ of its military capabilities in case of provocation.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that there would be no military action without his government's consent and would would prevent war by all any means necessary.

North Korea backed down Monday from a threat to fire missiles at the U.S. territory of Guam, according to a North Korean state media report cited by the Wall Street Journal.

Dictator Kim Jong-un had decided against the missile attack, according to the report, after making preparations to launch it.

He warned that North Korea was still ready to attack Guam if the U.S. continued to make “arrogant provocations” and “unilateral demands.”

North Korea’s decision to back down is a major victory for the United States, as it was achieved — apparently — with no concessions to the regime, and after a sustained “Twitter war” of words with President Donald Trump.

"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," Moon said in a speech to during the anniversary of the country's liberation from Japanese military rule in 1945.

China said it would ban imports of North Korean coal, iron and seafood, starting Tuesday, measures that are new to sanctions passed by the U.N. Security Council this month targeting Pyongyang’s nuclear-arms program. The timing of the declaration could have been a response to Mr. Trump’s plans to start a probe into China’s alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property.  That probe was officially announced later on Monday.

Stephen Noerper, a professor of politics at Columbia University, warned tensions on the Korean peninsula were likely to quickly rise again, given the soon to be commenced joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea that are set to kick off next week.

Stock markets in South Korea were volatile last week after US President Donald Trump ratcheted up the very real possibility of conflict with counter-threats of “fire and fury” to stop the vitriolic threats from Pyongyang.

Sitting just 50km from heavily fortified border along the 38th parallel, Seoul is home to nearly 24m people, almost half the population of South Korea.

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