North Korea

(stephan)/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

North Korea now says it won't fire missiles at Guam after all. State media reports from Pyongyang say leader Kim Jong Un instead will "watch a little more [of] the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reviewed his military's plans to rain "an enveloping fire" around the U.S. territory of Guam — but opted not to fire missiles at this time, according to state media. Despite the stand-down, some Guamanians were alarmed after two radio stations aired an erroneous emergency alert Tuesday.

Updated at 6:50 p.m. ET

"Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely," President Trump said on Friday, in his latest salvo in the exchange of rhetoric with the isolated regime.

Trump added, "Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!"

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

As the leaders of two nuclear-armed countries trade threats, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says President Trump "is sending a strong message to North Korea in language that Kim Jong Un would understand, because he doesn't seem to understand diplomatic language."

Stefan Krasowski/Flickr [CC BY 2.0]

From Texas Standard:

North Korea demonstrated its new intercontinental ballistic missile capability over the weekend. It launched a guided missile with a range of at least 3,400 miles. It landed in the Sea of Japan. Experts say such a missile could reach Alaska, but North Korea does not yet have the capability to arm one with a nuclear warhead.

Updated at 7:19 p.m. ET

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed Tuesday that the missile launched by North Korea on Monday was an intercontinental ballistic missile, in a statement in which he condemned the test.

"Testing an ICBM represents a new escalation of the threat to the United States, our allies and partners, the region, and the world," Tillerson said.

(stephan)/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

As all eyes in Washington, D.C. are on the Senate health care bill, another major issue has been pushed to the sidelines. But U.S. Rep. Ted Poe (R-Humble) isn’t content to let it sit there. He’s pushing to have the U.S. label North Korea as a terrorist state in the wake of the death of American student Otto Warmbier.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the Trump administration is open to direct talks with North Korea as long as the agenda is right — that is, denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

As he prepared to chair a U.N. Security Council meeting on the subject, Tillerson sat down with NPR's Steve Inskeep to explain his approach. The secretary says North Korea has to come to the table willing to talk about giving up its nuclear weapons.

North Korea could reduce a U.S. strike force to a sea wreck if it's provoked, the country's propaganda outlets said Monday, adding to tensions on the Korean Peninsula. With the threat of a nuclear test in North Korea looming and another U.S. citizen reportedly detained there, China's President Xi Jinping is urging President Trump to avoid escalating the situation.

J.A. de Roo / Wikimedia Commons

From Texas Standard:

Early Monday morning, in the country’s latest display of aggression toward the West, North Korea fired four intermediate range ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan. Three missiles landed within Japan’s exclusive economic zone, leading Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to call North Korea’s actions a clear violation of several UN Security Council resolutions.

Clay Gilliland/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Texas A&M University has a new partner – in North Korea. The nation’s only private university has reached out to ask for help teaching students how to grow food in a nation of persistent shortages and high food insecurity.

Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, which was founded and is mainly funded by American evangelical Christians, will receive donated teaching materials from the Aggies.

The remains of thousands of U.S. soldiers who died in the Korean War are "left here and there uncared and carried away en masse," a North Korean military spokesman said Monday.

He said the remains are being put at risk by large construction projects – and by the halting of joint recovery efforts. North Korea is estimated to contain the remains of more than 5,000 American soldiers.

From Seoul, Jason Strother reports:

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman is visiting North Korea again, six months after spending time there with dictator Kim Jong Un — an "awesome" man, in Rodman's opinion.

NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Beijing that:

"Rodman was spotted transiting the Beijing airport en route to Pyongyang, sporting his characteristic lip and nose rings, plus green hair.

America's unlikeliest link to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has reached out to his friend in a bid to have an American citizen released from one of the communist nation's notorious labor camps.

"I'm calling on the Supreme Leader of North Korea or as I call him 'Kim', to do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose," former basketball star Dennis Rodman tweets.

Walking a line meant to show both resolve and willingness to trust in diplomacy, Secretary of State John Kerry warned North Korea on Friday not to engage in more warmongering — but also said the U.S. is willing to talk with that communist state if it's serious about discussing denuclearization.

"No one is going to talk for the sake of talking," Kerry said, but the U.S. does want to see a peaceful resolution of the latest crisis on the Korean peninsula.

As the world waits for what's expected to be another ballistic missile test by North Korea sometime in the next few days, NPR's Frank Langfitt reports there's reason to think that tensions on the Korean Peninsula might soon ease.

courtesy flickr.com/zennie62

The Department of Defense will send an advanced ballistic missile defense system to Guam to guard against potential missile strikes from North Korea.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said that reports that North Korea may have a military attack scenario that includes a strike on Austin indicate the city’s prominence in the U.S.

courtesy flickr.com/zennie62

Update: UT Politics and East Asia expert Patricia Maclachlan says nuclear weapons are North Korea’s only way to get the U.S. to the negotiating table.

“It has nothing else going for it. It’s the only negotiating card that it really has to get what it wants from the outside world," she says.

But the threat does beg the question: Why Austin?

Russia is urging the U.S. and North Korea to end an escalating cycle of dangerous provocations after Pyongyang put its missile forces on high alert and American stealth bombers flew practice bomb runs over the Korean Peninsula.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking Friday in Moscow, said the tit-for-tat moves were becoming a "vicious cycle" that could "simply get out of control," Reuters reports.

Not only might North Korea's third underground explosion of an atomic device be a sign that it is closer to having a weapon that's light enough to be put on a missile, it seems to be a not-so-subtle message aimed at the U.S.