Guam's Faithful Pray for Peace Amid Concerns About Possible North Korean Attack

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspecting the long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12.   Thomson Reuters

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspecting the long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12. Thomson Reuters

"In order to defuse the tensions and prevent the risky military conflict on the Korean peninsula, it is necessary for the United States to make a proper option first and show it through action", Kim was quoted as saying.

President Donald Trump praised Kim Jong Un's decision to hold off a strike on Guam, even as the North Korean ruler slammed the U.S.'s conduct as "foolish and stupid".

Last week, Pyongyang said it was chalking out a plan to launch four missiles mid-August into the territorial waters of Guam, an unincorporated USA territory with a population of 163,000 that is located some 3,430 km to the southeast of North Korea.

Trump vowed last week that the USA would respond to an attack from North Korea with "fire and fury", and is "locked and loaded" should the country come close to attacking Guam.

HAGATNA-Guam officials were "ecstatic" Tuesday as North Korea appeared to back away from its threat to fire four missiles towards the U.S. territory in the western Pacific.

The news comes as just one more step up for the ever increasing war rhetoric between the leader of North Korea and United States President Donald Trump.

But it appears the tweet did little to dissuade North Korea from its plans.

Guam's citizens have been stoic through the crisis, with many saying they fear the looming typhoon season more than aggression from North Korea which has threatened the island several times in recent years.

Yoshihide Suga, Japan's chief government spokesman, said earlier this week that Tokyo "can never tolerate" provocations from North Korea and the country's military, will "take necessary measures" to protect itself.
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"The United States military is always locked and loaded, but the objective of capable, ready forces is to preserve peace and prevent war", he said.

North Korea is angry about new United Nations sanctions over its expanding nuclear weapons and missile program and annual military drills between Washington and Seoul beginning later this month that Pyongyang condemns as invasion rehearsals.

Mr Rudd said Mr Trump was unique to past United States presidents dating back to 1993 who have dealt with the North Korean regime because he sees a virtue in his own strategic unpredictability.

Several US officials continue to tell CNN that North Korea often moves missiles and launch equipment around, but that such movements do not necessarily mean there has been a decision to conduct an imminent launch.

South Korea's primary goal with North Korea is peace.

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