North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has decided against an order to attack Guam, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) has reported.
KCNA released a statement on Tuesday confirming that Kim had decided against the launch of four intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs) with the intention of striking the waters near the US territory of Guam.
The statement came after last week’s statement that detailed plans for a specific trajectory, time and target for the missile launch of Hwasong-12 IRBMs, which were pending Kim’s approval this week.
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has received a report from his army on plans for a missile strike near Guam the North’s official news agency says.
“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 dangerous military clash,” Kim was cited as saying by KCNA on Tuesday.
North Korea’s leader ordered that the army should always be fire-ready should he make a decision for action, the report said.
The comments come after US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said the United States would know the trajectory of a missile fired by North Korea within moments and would “take it out” if the missile looked like hitting the US Pacific territory of Guam.
US officials and South Korea’s president in recent days have played down the risk of an imminent conflict after Washington and Pyongyang exchanged fiery rhetoric last week.
But Mr Mattis told reporters on Monday that war could break out if North Korea were to fire a missile at the US.
“If they fire at the United States, it could escalate into war very quickly,” Mr Mattis said.