President Donald Trump is warning all options are on the table for a US response to North Korea’s firing of a ballistic missile over northern Japan’s Hokkaido island into the sea.
The missile test on Tuesday comes as US and South Korean forces conducted annual military exercises on the Korean peninsula, angering Pyongyang which sees the war games as a preparation for invasion.
North Korea has conducted dozens of ballistic missile tests under leader Kim Jong Un in defiance of UN sanctions, but firing projectiles over mainland Japan is rare.
Trump, who has vowed not to let North Korea develop nuclear missiles that can hit the US mainland, said the world had received North Korea’s latest message “loud and clear”.
“Threatening and destabilising actions only increase the North Korean regime’s isolation in the region and among all nations of the world. All options are on the table,” Trump said in a statement.
Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke and agreed that North Korea “poses a grave and growing direct threat”, the White House said.
The North Korean missile was likely an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) and further analysis was underway to determine whether it was a success or failure, two US officials said.
Pentagon spokesman Colonel Robert Manning said diplomacy was still Washington’s preferred option with Pyongyang.
North Korea was defiant.
“The US should know that it can neither browbeat the DPRK with any economic sanctions and military threats and blackmail nor make the DPRK flinch from the road chosen by itself,” North Korea’s official Rodong Sinmun said, using North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The North vows to…
click here to read the rest of this story