North Korea's Kim to Trump: It's Your Move
Albanian Daily News
Published August 15, 2017
North Korea leader Kim Jong Un has finished reviewing a plan to fire four missiles off Guam, and has opted to wait to see what the "foolish Yankees" do next.
The comments, published in state media Tuesday, came hours after US Secretary of Defense James Mattis warned that if North Korea fired on US territory it would be "game on."
Speaking at the Pentagon Monday, Mattis told reporters, "you don't shoot at people in this world unless you want to bear the consequences."
Speaking Tuesday, South Korea President Moon Jae-in appeared to down play Mattis' comments, pointing out the US would need its approval before launching any attack on North Korea.
"Military action on the Korean Peninsula can only be decided by South Korea and no one else can decide to take military action without the consent of South Korea," said Moon in televised comments.
"The government, putting everything on the line, will block war by all means," he added.
The address came on the anniversary of the liberation of the Korean peninsula from Japanese occupation at the end of World War II, an important holiday in both North and South Korea.
The timing of Moon's speech, a proponent of increased engagement and dialogue with his northern neighbors, was likely meant to hammer home the importance of Seoul's role in finding a diplomatic solution to the crisis, according to John Delury, a professor of international relations at Yonsei University's Graduate School of International Studies.
"It's independence day, it's a speech about South Korea's tragic history, of its fate being decided by great powers," he said. "South Korea has gotten lost in the shuffle."