North Korea Walked Back its Threat on Guam
State media reported Tuesday that Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, made the decision to walk back its threat on Guam, following a meeting with military commanders, but he reserved the right to fire the Hawsong-12 near Guam if the U.S. grows “more reckless.”
North Korea’s apparent walk back of its threat to fire missiles near the U.S. territory of Guam could mean military tensions with the United States have been diminished or at least postponed. Much of the seeming escalation in tensions between the two sides last week was more rhetoric than reality to begin with.
The move comes after a week marked by bellicose rhetoric from both sides. It began last weekend when the UN Security Council unanimously voted to tighten sanctions on North Korea for its tests last month of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of reaching the U.S. (though South Korea’s vice-defense minister said the North still lacks the technology for its ICBMs to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere, adding Pyongyang was still “at least one to two more years” way from that). Then came reports that U.S. intelligence agencies had assessed that North Korea had miniaturized a nuclear warhead that could be fitted onto the ICBMs.