President Trump’s tough talk of “fire and fury” appears to have paid off.
After a tense war of words, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is backing off on a threat to launch missiles at a United States military base in Guam.
North Korean state media reported Tuesday that, while Kim has taken his hand off the trigger for now, he reserves the right to change his mind “if the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions.” Reports from Pyongyang claim that Kim made his decision not to fire on the U.S. after visiting a North Korean command post and reviewing an execution plan outlined by his senior military commanders, and decided a launch was not in North Korea's best interest.
Nonetheless, in his statements, the North Korean dictator couldn’t help but frame Washington as the oppressor and Pyongyang as the victim.
"The United States must “stop at once arrogant provocations against [North Korea] and unilateral demands and not provoke it any longer,” Kim stated. “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 [North] will make an important decision as it already declared,” the report quoted Mr. Kim as saying.
Contradicting his earlier tone of self-victimization, Kim used colorful language to issue non-specific threats against the United States: "A strike against America would be the “most delightful historic moment,” hissed Kim." It would“ wring the windpipes of the Yankees and point daggers at their necks.”
Until then, however, Kim's signature provocations are without force and his explicitly articulated plan to rain an "enveloping fire" around the U. S. territory of Guam is an empty threat. Officials there told media they were "happy the rhetoric has calmed down" but that they will still maintain a "high level of readiness."
North Korea’s benevolent change of heart came just one day after General Joseph Dunford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in South Korea in a show of support for American allies in the region. In a press conference Monday, Dunford said "The United States military is ready to use its “full range” of military capabilities against North Korea if necessary."