Korea delays Guam missile firing, U.S. says dialogue up to Kim

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un

"The United States and President Trump have already promised to sufficiently consult with South Korea and get our approval for whatever option they will take against North Korea".

The DPRK's official news agency KCNA reported on Tuesday that Kim reviewed the plan on Monday when visiting the Command of the Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army.

Now comes the hard part of fulfilling the declared goal of its leader Kim Jong Un: perfecting a nuclear device small and light enough to fit on the missile without affecting its range as well as making it capable of surviving re-entry into the earth's atmosphere.

Mr Trump wrote: "The alternative would have been both catastrophic and unacceptable!"

He also commented that "the United States sought to put maximum pressure and sanctions through the latest UN Security Council resolution", while at the same time it is "seeking unilateral measures".

Seoul, a vibrant metropolitan area of 25 million people, lies within range of North Korea's conventional artillery, stationed just across the border 30 miles to the north. Hundreds of thousands of Americans, including more than 28,000 U.S. troops, also live in South Korea. The top USA general reiterated that in talks in Beijing this week.

Meanwhile, China and Russian Federation called for the USA to suspend planned large-scale military exercises in exchange for North Korea suspending its missile and nuclear test as a first step toward direct talks.

In an effort to jumpstart diplomacy, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday he would consider sending a special envoy to North Korea for talks if the North stops its missile and nuclear tests. "I believe China has strongly warned North Korea not to conduct another nuclear test", Moon said.

"The strategic environment is becoming harsher and we need to discuss how we will respond to that", a Japanese foreign ministry official said in a briefing in Tokyo.

"US President Trump is trying to pressure North Korea by showing a firm resolution", he said.

The North has been subjected to seven sets of sanctions by the United Nations Security Council over its nuclear programme, the latest earlier this month, with China, its main ally and benefactor, promising to comply.

On Guam, home to a United States air base, a Navy installation, a Coast Guard group and roughly 6,000 U.S. military personnel, residents expressed some relief at the lessening of tensions.

"I don't think we must rush into it", he said. The U.S. aircraft have flown several sorties in East Asia over recent weeks. "We have no desire to inflict harm on the long-suffering North Korean people, who are distinct from the hostile regime in Pyongyang". It also could mean the B-1B bombers that the USA occasionally flies over the Korean Peninsula as a show of force. The exercises also upset China, which says they do nothing to ease tension. "Although peace and negotiation are painful and slow, we must pursue this path", Moon told his advisers ahead of his meeting with Dunford.

North Korea's two tests of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) last month likely carried a payload lighter than any nuclear warhead it is now able to produce, the experts said.

Importantly, North Korea has shown it has some understanding of Trump.

Trump warned North Korea last week it would face "fire and fury" if it threatened the USA, prompting North Korea to say it was considering plans to fire missiles towards Guam.

"He said that he wants to advise the U.S., which is driving the situation on the Korean peninsula into the touch-and-go situation, running helter-skelter, to take into full account gains and losses with clear head whether the prevailing situation is more unfavorable for any party", the report quoted Kim as saying.

"The people worked together to rebuild the country from the Korean War, and we can not lose everything again because of a war", Moon said in a nationally televised news conference.

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