North Korea holds off Guam threat

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said early Tuesday that he would watch US actions before making a decision on the threat to fire four missiles in the Guam vicinity by mid-August.  

Although prepared for "the enveloping fire at Guam", the North said it would first watch what "the foolish Yankees" do. The North Korean statement said Kim could change his mind “if the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions,” in which case the country’s artillerymen would “wring the windpipes of the Yankees and point daggers at their necks.”

This statement, which caused a sigh of relief on the Pacific island, followed a blunt warning by US Secretary of State James Mattis: “If they fire at the United States it could escalate into war very quickly,” he told reporters at the Pentagon. “That’s called war.” He said the US military would defend the country “from any attack, at any time and from any quarter.” Turning to Guam, Mattis said that if a missile was fired “We’ll take it out.”

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