Analysis: North Korea Blinked, But Will Trump Notice Amid Insults?

Overnight North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un appeared to take a step back in the ongoing crisis with the U.S., announcing that his military's plan to shoot missiles near the American territory of Guam has been put on hold.

"He said that the U.S. imperialists put their own necks into the noose through their reckless military confrontation racket, adding that he would watch a little longer the conduct of the foolish and stupid Yankees spending a hard time of every minute for their miserable lot," North Korea's state news agency said, referring to Kim.

The news appears to be a victory for U.S. President Donald J. Trump, who had threatened "big, big trouble" if anything happened with Guam.

The problem is this: Trump's victory is sandwiched between threats and insults from Kim, and Trump has proven time and time again that any perceived slight against him will not go unanswered.

In addition to the line referenced above, the North Korean news agency said, "If the planned fire of power demonstration is carried out due to the U.S. rashness going beyond the limit line, this will be the most delightful historic moment when our Hwasong artillerymen wring the windpipes of the Yankees and point daggers at their necks, [Kim] said, underlining the need to always stand on fire readiness for going into action once our Party decides."

Also, a photo reportedly released by the North Korean news agency Monday clearly shows a U.S. air base in Guam on a video screen in the background, in what analysts suspect is a not-so-subtle threat on its own.

Trump is awake and tweeting as of this report, but he has not publicly responded to the news out of North Korea. The U.S. and South Korea plan to hold a large-scale joint military exercise next week.

[UPDATE: On Aug. 16, Trump tweeted that Kim made a "very wise and well reasoned decision. The alternative would have been both catastrophic and unacceptable!"]

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