August 14, 2017 / 10:23 PM / 4 months ago

North Korea leader holds off on Guam plan, will watch U.S. bit longer: KCNA

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea’s leader received a report from his army on its plans to fire missiles toward Guam and said he will watch the actions of the United States for a while longer before making a decision, the North’s official news agency said on Tuesday.

North Korea said last week it was finalizing plans to launch four missiles into the waters near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, and its army would report the strike plan to leader Kim Jong Un and wait for his order.

Kim, who inspected the command of the North’s army on Monday, examined the plan for a long time and discussed it with army officers, the official KCNA said in a report.

“He said that 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,” the report said.

The DPRK stands for North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

A view of a part of the Tamuning city overlooking the Tumon tourist district on the island of Guam, a U.S. Pacific Territory, August 11, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

Pyongyang’s detailed plans for the strike near Guam prompted a surge in tensions in the region last week, with U.S. President Donald Trump warning he would unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea if it threatened the Unite States.

South Korean and U.S. officials have since sought to play down the risks of an imminent conflict, helping soothe global concerns somewhat on Monday.

Kim said the United States should make the right choice “in order to defuse the tensions and prevent the dangerous military conflict on the Korean peninsula,” the KCNA report said.

The visit to the Strategic Force of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) marks Kim’s first public appearance in about two weeks.

The North’s leader ordered the army should always be fire-ready should he make a decision for action, the report said.

Reporting by Soyoung Kim and Christine Kim; Editing by Lincoln Feast

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