Kim Jong-un steps back from the brink

Kim Jong-un steps back from the brink
By Euronews

Despite relief at Pyongyang's pause, it is feared that upcoming US-South Korea military drills could revive tensions

Kim Jong-un’s decision to step back from the brink has been welcomed as a sign of easing tensions in the crisis over North Korea.

Pyongyang won’t fire missiles towards the US Pacific territory of Guam for now, state media says, instead putting the ball back in America’s court.

The crisis was discussed in Beijing where China’s military hosted Joseph Dunford, the United States top general.

Washington is putting pressure on China to do more to rein in its ally, North Korea.

Beijing urged all sides in the standoff to help “put out the flames” and not add fuel to the fire.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying called for “restraint,” and “decisive, correct and responsible decisions… to help peacefully resolve the Korean peninsula issue”.

Pyongyang’s plans to fire missiles near Guam prompted a surge in tensions in the region last week, with US President Donald Trump saying the American military was “locked and loaded” if North Korea acted unwisely.

North Korea has persisted with its nuclear and missile programmes, to ward off perceived US hostility, in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions and sanctions.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Tuesday there would be no military action without Seoul’s consent and his government would prevent war by all means.

Relief has been expressed widely at the lowering of tensions.

But next week’s joint US-South Korean military drills are sure to infuriate the North and experts are warning it could still go ahead with its provocative plan.

with Reuters

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