President Donald Trump praised North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un Wednesday for stepping back from the brink of destruction.
Kim decided Tuesday not to immediately fire ballistic missiles at Guam, but stressed that he reserves the right to change his mind if “the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions,” according to North Korean state media. (RELATED: Kim Jong Un Backs Down In Nuclear Showdown With Trump)
The move appears to have de-escalated rising tensions, which had many observers concerned that the U.S. and North Korea were headed towards nuclear war. Trump acknowledged Kim’s “very wise” decision on Twitter Wednesday.
Kim Jong Un of North Korea made a very wise and well reasoned decision. The alternative would have been both catastrophic and unacceptable!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2017
After the U.N. Security Council approved tougher sanctions against North Korea for its intercontinental ballistic missile tests, North Korea warned that it was considering launching a salvo of ballistic missiles into waters around Guam in a show of force demonstrating an ability to surround the island with “enveloping fire.”
That same day, Trump stressed that North Korean threats will be met with “fire and fury like nothing the world has ever seen.” For a week, the two sides hurled threats and warnings at each other repeatedly. “The DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people,” Secretary of Defense James Mattis said last week, later warning that North Korean action against Guam could lead to war.
Kim, while blustering about his military’s ability to crush the U.S., decided to take a step back. It is unclear what might have happened had he not done so, but Trump believes that the alternative would have been, as he said, “catastrophic.”
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