Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio told the media Tuesday that North Korea appears to be holding off on an imminent launch of missiles into waters near the US territory in the Pacific.
Asked how the US would respond, Mattis initially declined to say.
Pyongyang’s saber rattling comes a week after the North Korean army declared it would complete an assault to launch four intermediate ballistic missiles near Guam by mid-August.
South Korea’s presidential Blue House said in a statement on Saturday the United States and China were working to resolve the North Korea crisis.
CIA Director Mike Pompeo told CBS’s Face the Nation that “an attack from North Korea is not something that is imminent”, and sought to assure viewers of Fox News Sunday that the DPRK was not going to launch a pre-emptive strike on the U.S.
Citing comments from members of the “Washington establishment”, Zakhavora said an armed conflict on the Korean peninsula would be a “real catastrophe”.
While immediate confirmation of the reports was not available, Japan has in the past vowed to shoot down North Korean missiles or rockets that threaten to hit its territory.
The top USA diplomat made no further comment about Kim’s decision to suspend his plans to attack Guam with the apparent aim of reducing bilateral tensions and urging the U.S. to restrain its “foolish and stupid conduct”, according to Pyongyang’s state-run KCNA news agency.
Concern that North Korea is close to achieving its goal of putting the mainland United States within range of a nuclear weapon has ratcheted up global concerns in recent months. For years, North Korea has claimed Guam is within its missiles’ striking distance, making furious statements each time the US flew powerful bombers from the island’s air base to the Korean Peninsula.
On Monday, the Pentagon made clear that a Pyongyang missile fired at the U.S. would be considered a declaration of war.
Dunford earlier told reporters travelling with him to Asia that he aims to “sense what the temperature is in the region”. “He’s never going to give up his nukes, so I think at some point we go back to Cold War-style deterrence and containment the way we did with the Soviet Union successfully”, Ganyard added.
It has urged the “relevant side” to exercise restraint, avoiding words or actions that raise tension.
It seems unlikely that North Korea could satisfactorily carry out the Guam plan until its capability improves with more testing. Beijing says its influence on Pyongyang is limited.
The country has threatened nuclear attacks against the US and its allies as well as a missile strike on Guam.
In separate interviews Sunday, CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Army Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, reassured viewers that the United States and North Korea could still avoid a conflict. Sun said that the real danger in Trump’s fiery rhetoric comes from the possibility that North Korea would take him seriously and launch a preemptive strike on the United States or South Korea.