North Korean leader Kim recalls ambassadors to discuss escalation

Trump praises North Korea's Kim Jong Un for backing down on missile threat

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reviewed his military's plans to rain "an enveloping fire" around the US territory of Guam - but opted not to fire missiles at this time, according to state media.

Kim said that "if the Yankees persist in their extremely risky 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", according to KCNA.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned Monday that an attack by North Korea against the United States could quickly escalate into war, as he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson moved to dial down tensions.

Tensions have ramped up between the isolated nation and the U.S. in recent weeks, with United States president Donald Trump pledging to attack North Korea with "fire and fury" if necessary.

"We're happy that the rhetoric is starting to calm down perhaps from Kim Jong Un, in not at least pursuing for the moment his threats to fire missiles at Guam", Mr Tenorio said.

The top USA military officer says the United States wants to peacefully resolve a deepening standoff with North Korea but is also ready to use the "full range" of its military capabilities in case of provocation.

Trump's words about "fire and fury" against North Korea came in the wake of news that Pyongyang had made a nuclear weapon small enough to fit inside of missiles. Pompeo touted a unanimous United Nations Security Council vote earlier this month to increase sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear program and said the USA had seen China join the U.S. in demanding that Pyongyang denuclearize.

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However, he clarified that a declaration of war remains with President Donald Trump and Congress. "With all of the ups and downs we are dealing with, the nuclear matter in North Korea needs to be resolved in peaceful ways", Moon said during a meeting with his top advisors.

North Korea seems to have backed away from its threat to attack the USA island territory of Guam, something that would have ensured a strong US response.

Mattis said that if a North Korean missile were headed toward the waters near Guam, instead of aimed directly at the island, then the president would decide what action to take. "The bottom line is we will defend the country and for us (the military) that's war", he said, according to CBS.

Guam's governor has taken a favorable view of the USA president's aggressive stance though and he has clarified that both John Kelly, Chief of Staff, and President Trump have given assurance that the people of Guam are safe.

Tensions have been mounting since North Korea last month conducted two intercontinental ballistic missile tests, which appeared to bring much of the USA within range.

Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that the United States is "seeking a peaceful resolution to the crisis".

"Life just goes on and we have trust and confidence in God and our military", Ms McDonald said. "China can shut down North Korea instantly", former NATO Commander James Stavridis told VOA's Serbian service.

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