CNN correspondent Anna Coren reported on Tuesday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is backing down on his threat towards Guam.
North Korea said last Wednesday that it was "carefully examining" a plan to "strike the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam with missiles, just hours after U.S. President Donald Trump told the North that any threat to the United States would be met with ‘fire and fury'" according to Reuters.
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Coren said Kim is stepping back from his "bellicose rhetoric" and she found it interesting that he had decided to hold off on his original plan to strike Guam with four intermediate-range missiles.
"Kim Jong-un certainly getting America's attention, but today through state-based media, [he] certainly seems to be dialing it back, perhaps heeding the warnings of the president," Coren said. "More recently the Defense Secretary James Mattis, as you say, he said if North Korea was to strike U.S territory, it would be ‘game on.'"
Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon on Monday that war would be "game on" if North Korea fired missiles at the United States or its territories, including the Pacific island of Guam.
"It could escalate into war very quickly—yes, that's called war," Mattis said. "If they shoot at the United States, I'm assuming they hit the United States—if they do that, then it's game on."
He was then asked by a reporter whether he considered Guam part of the United States, which prompted him to respond, "Yeah, it sure is."
Trump was asked last week about a report that U.S. intelligence analysts have "assessed that North Korea has produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead." He delivered a strong warning to North Korea by saying that the country will be met with "fire and fury" if it makes any more threats against the United States.
"[Kim Jong-un] has been very threatening beyond a normal statement, and as I said, they will be met with fire, fury, and, frankly, power, the likes of which this world has never seen before," Trump said.
Trump was asked about his threat towards North Korea the next day and doubled down, saying that maybe his threat "wasn't tough enough," the Washington Free Beacon reported.
"Well, I don't think they mean that, and I think it's the first time they've heard it like they heard it," Trump said. "And frankly, the people that were questioning that statement, was it too tough? Maybe it wasn't tough enough."
"What could be tougher than fire and fury?" the reporter asked.
"Well, you'll see, you'll see," Trump responded.