We Just Took A Step Closer To WW3
28 Nov, 2017
North Korea has fired its highest-ever intercontinental ballistic missile and poses a worldwide threat, US Secretary of Defence James Mattis has said.
Earlier the Pentagon said the missile had flown for about 1,000km (620 miles) before falling into the Sea of Japan. The launch, early on Wednesday, is the latest in a series that have raised international tensions.
North Korea’s last ballistic missile launch was in September and came days after its sixth nuclear test.
Mr Mattis was speaking at the White House as he briefed US President Donald Trump and senior officials on the missile launch.
“It went higher, frankly, than any previous shots they have taken,” he said, adding that the North was building “ballistic missiles that threaten everywhere in the world”.
South Korean news agency Yonhap said that the missile was launched from Pyongsong, in South Pyongan province.
Japanese government officials said the missile travelled for about 50 minutes but did not fly over Japan, as some have done in the past.
President Trump was briefed while the missile was still in the air, the White House said. Afterwards he said: “We will take care of it.”
South Korean President Moon Jae-in later spoke to President Trump as they reaffirmed their “strong condemnation of North Korea’s reckless campaign”, the White House said in a statement.
The two leaders said the North’s latest missile test “underscores the grave threat” posed “not only to the US, but to the entire world,” the statement added.
This missile test, the first for some two months, suggests that the lull in firings was not due to North Korea being cowed by Mr Trump’s rhetoric or even by Chinese pressure. Experts have indeed pointed to similar seasonal slowdowns in testing in the past.
President Trump, responding to the test, says that his administration will handle it. But handle it how ? The US has called for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council. And Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has spoken of stepping up the pressure on Pyongyang.
But North Korea is already one of the most isolated and heavily sanctioned states in the world. There are few new levers to pull.
North Korea is seemingly a problem without a solution and its nuclear and missile programmes are now, once again, back at the top of the Trump administration’s security agenda.
The North is thought to be focusing efforts on building long-range missiles with the potential of reaching the mainland continental US.
Officials in Pyongyang said the first of the longer-range missiles it tested in July could hit “any part of the world”, but the US military called it an intermediate-range missile instead.
Its last nuclear test reportedly involved a miniaturised hydrogen bomb that could be loaded onto a long-range missile, raising tensions with the US even further.
Last week, President Trump announced that the US was re-designating North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism because of its missile and nuclear programme.
The US imposed fresh sanctions against Pyongyang. The measures targeted North Korean shipping operations and Chinese companies that traded with the North.
Image Fox News twitter
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