North Korea Launches a Ballistic Missile
North Korea launches a ballistic missile, the first such test since US President Donald Trump was elected. His administration indicated that Washington would have a calibrated response to avoid escalating tensions. It is believed that the test was likely to have been an intermediate-range-Musudan-class missile. It landed in the Sea of Japan according to the South Korean military. It was not an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) which North Korea said it could test at any time.
Was This a North Korean Provocation?
An US official said the new administration had been expecting a North Korean ‘provocation’ since taking office. They had reported they will consider a full range of options in response, but they would be calibrated to show US resolve while avoiding escalation. The launch marks the first test of Trump’s vow to get in touch with an isolated North Korean regime who last year tested nuclear devices and ballistic missiles at an unprecedented rate in violation of United Nations resolutions.
One official said, “This was no surprise. The North Korean leader likes to draw attention at times like this.”
The test comes one day after Trump hosted a summit meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. It also follows up Trump’s phone call last week with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The president said, “I just want everybody to understand, and fully know, that the United States of America is behind Japan, our great ally, 100 percent.” Trump made his comments to reporters in Palm Beach, Florida as he spoke with Abe next to his side. Abe called the launch “absolutely intolerable” and said North Korea must comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions.