SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea said Tuesday that leader Kim Jong Un was briefed on his military's plans to launch missiles in waters near Guam days after the Korean People's Army announced its preparing to create "enveloping fire" near the U.S. military hub in the Pacific.
During an inspection of the army's Strategic Forces, Kim praised the military for drawing a "close and careful plan" and said he would watch the "foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees" a little more before deciding whether to give order for the missile test, the Korean Central News Agency said.
Kim said North Korea will conduct the planned missile launches if the "Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions on the Korean Peninsula and its vicinity" and that the United States should "think reasonably and judge property" to avoid shame, the news agency said.
The Korean People's Army's Strategic Forces said last week it would finalize by mid-August a plan to fire four intermediate ballistic missiles near Guam, which is about 3,200 kilometers (2,000 miles) from Pyongyang, and send it to Kim for his approval.
The North Korean report came after U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the United Sates would take out any North Korean missile seen to be heading for American soil and declared any such North Korean attack could lead to war.
Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also said during a visit to South Korea on Monday that 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, Dunford said.