- The Washington Times - Monday, August 14, 2017

It used its typically belligerent and florid rhetoric to do so, but North Korea appeared to signal a way out of the nuclear showdown with the U.S. on Tuesday.

The official Korean Central News Agency reported that supreme leader Kim Jong-un had visited its strategic missile force and offered praise to North Korea’s military and warned that he had reviewed plans to fire a missile over the U.S. territory of Guam.

But then Mr. Kim said the U.S. could defuse matters with concrete gestures.

Mr. Kim “said that he wants to advise the U.S., which is driving the situation on the Korean peninsula into the touch-and-go situation, running helter-skelter, to take into full account gains and losses with clear head whether the prevailing situation is more unfavorable for any party,” according to KCNA.

“In order to defuse the tensions and prevent the dangerous military conflict on the Korean peninsula, it is necessary for the U.S. to make a proper option first and show it through action, as it committed provocations after introducing huge nuclear strategic equipment into the vicinity of the peninsula,” KCNA cited Mr. Kim as saying.

He also added that “the U.S. should stop at once arrogant provocations against [North Korea] and unilateral demands and not provoke it any longer.”

President Trump last week said the U.S. military was “locked and loaded” for action against North Korea and could engulf the North in “fire and fury.”

North Korea frequently calls joint military maneuvers between the U.S. and South Korea as preparations for an invasion. The two nations have their annual military joint exercise, named Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, set for Aug. 21-31.

Although Mr. Kim did not mention the exercises, he did say, according to KCNA, that “if the planned fire of power demonstration is carried out as the U.S. is going more reckless, it will be the most delightful historic moment when the Hwasong artillerymen will wring the windpipes of the Yankees and point daggers at their necks.”

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