Seoul/ Washington: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has delayed a decision on firing missiles towards Guam while he waits to see what the United States does, the North's state media reported Tuesday as the United States said any dialogue was up to Kim.
The United States and South Korea have prepared for more joint military drills, which has infuriated the North, and experts warned Pyongyang could still go ahead with a provocative plan.
In his first public appearance in about two weeks, Kim inspected the command of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's army on Monday, examining a plan to fire four missiles aimed at landing near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, the official KCNA news agency reported.
In photos released with the KCNA report, Kim was seen holding a baton and pointing at a map showing a flight path for the missiles appearing to start from North Korea's east coast, flying over Japan towards Guam.
In the latest round of provocations rolled out by the rogue state, the two sides had threatened each other with the U.S. President Donald Trump saying the U.S. military was "locked and loaded" if North Korea acted unwisely.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, responding to the questions on a possible dialogue, said that it was up to Kim to decide if he wants to talk to the United States.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Tuesday his government would prevent war by all means.
"Military action on the Korean peninsula can only be decided by South Korea and no one else can decide to take military action without the consent of South Korea," Moon said in a speech to commemorate the anniversary of the nation's liberation from Japanese military rule in 1945.
The Liberation Day holiday, celebrated by both North and South, will be followed next week by joint U.S.-South Korean military drills.
Asian shares rose for a second day on Tuesday after Kim's comments. China, North Korea's main ally and trading partner, has repeatedly urged Pyongyang to halt its weapons program and at the same time urged South Korea and the United States to stop military drills to lower tensions.