North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Tuesday that he will wait and see what the “foolish Yankees” do next before following through on plans to fire four missiles at Guam, warning that if the U.S. continues its “extremely dangerous reckless actions,” the strike would go ahead.
The North Korean leader’s latest goad came a few short hours after U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said it would be “game on” if the hermit kingdom fired on the U.S.
While the war of words between Washington and Pyongyang shows few signs of slowing, in Seoul, South Korean President Moon Jae In issued his own warning to the U.S. “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,” the Korean president said. Moon vowed to “prevent war at all costs.”
Moon’s comments appeared to be a direct rebuke to U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent rhetoric, which threats of military force should North Korea follow through on its plans to attack Guam.
On Tuesday, state-run KCNA news agency reported that Kim had inspected his military’s plans to attack Guam, saying: “If the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions on the Korean peninsula and in its vicinity, testing the self-restraint of the DPRK, the latter will make an important decision as it already declared.”
Such provocation may come on August 21, when the U.S. and South Korea begin massive military exercises in the region.
While Trump has sought to inflame tensions in the region, White House officials have been sending a different message. On Monday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Joseph Dunford met with Moon in Seoul, saying the situation should be resolved “without a war.” In an opinion piece published Sunday, Mattis and Secretary of State Tillerson said: “The U.S. has no interest in regime change or accelerated reunification of Korea.”