North Korea:

Pres­i­dent warns op­tions for ad­dress­ing North Korea ‘ef­fec­tive and over­whelm­ing’ US na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser says United States reach­ing its lim­its

The Irish Times - - Front Page - SUZANNE LYNCH in Wash­ing­ton

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has said the US “will never be in­tim­i­dated” fol­low­ing an­other North Korean mis­sile launch:

The US and its al­lies “will never be in­tim­i­dated”, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has said, as he warned that US op­tions for ad­dress­ing the threat from North Korea “are both ef­fec­tive and over­whelm­ing”.

Speak­ing to mil­i­tary per­son­nel at Joint Base An­drews in Mary­land yes­ter­day en route to his New Jer­sey golf club, Mr Trump said that North Korea had “once again shown its ut­ter con­tempt for its neigh­bours and the en­tire world com­mu­nity”.

The US pres­i­dent was speak­ing af­ter North Korea launched a bal­lis­tic mis­sile that flew over Ja­pan, its 15th mis­sile test this year.

The mis­sile was launched at 6.23am lo­cal time yes­ter­day from Py­ongyang air­port, land­ing ap­prox­i­mately 2,000km east of the north­ern Ja­panese is­land of Hokkaido.

The launch prompted the Ja­panese gov­ern­ment to send alerts to its cit­i­zens via text mes­sage and TV chan­nels, urg­ing peo­ple to take cover in a build­ing or un­der­ground.

South Korea launched a bal­lis­tic mis­sile drill in re­sponse to the lat­est provo­ca­tion by Py­ongyang.

Emer­gency meet­ing

The UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil held an emer­gency meet­ing yes­ter­day in New York to dis­cuss the cri­sis, though no fur­ther sanc­tions were ex­pected to be agreed.

The se­cu­rity coun­cil passed its most strin­gent pack­age of sanc­tions against North Korea yet on Mon­day, in re­sponse to claims by the nu­clear power that it had tested a hy­dro­gen bomb.

The mea­sures in­cluded new sanc­tions on oil and fuel sales to the coun­try, though the pack­age fell short of im­pos­ing a full oil em­bargo, as had been favoured by the US.

Yes­ter­day, US na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser HR McMaster warned that the US was reach­ing its lim­its in terms of sanc­tions and diplo­macy as it deals with the North Korean nu­clear threat. But he said that while the US did have a “mil­i­tary op­tion”, it was not the pre­ferred route, adding that the US is keen to work with al­lies on mea­sures “short of war”.

‘Run­ning out of op­tions’

Speak­ing to re­porters along­side US am­bas­sador to the UN Nikki Ha­ley at a press con­fer­ence in the White House, McMaster, the na­tion’s top se­cu­rity chief, said the US was run­ning out of op­tions on North Korea.

“We’ve been kick­ing the can down the road and we’re out of road. And so for those who have said and have been com­ment­ing about the lack of a mil­i­tary op­tion, there is a mil­i­tary op­tion,” he said, “[but] it is not what we pre­fer to do.”

His com­ments were echoed by Ms Ha­ley, who said the US had plenty of op­tions in deal­ing with North Korea.

“They con­tinue to be provoca­tive, they con­tinue to be reck­less,” she said, not­ing that there were lim­its to what the se­cu­rity coun­cil could do “when you cut 90 per cent of the trade and 30 per cent of the oil”, re­fer­ring to the lat­est round of sanc­tions.

“I have no prob­lem kick­ing it to [de­fence sec­re­tary] Gen [James] Mat­tis, be­cause I think he has plenty of op­tions,” she said.

North Korea is likely to top the agenda of next week’s meet­ing of the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly. Mr Trump is due to ad­dress the ses­sion on Tues­day.

The US has been in­creas­ing pres­sure on Rus­sia and China to do more to con­tain Py­ongyang’s nu­clear threat, with sec­re­tary of state Rex Tiller­son urg­ing both coun­tries to take “di­rect ac­tion” against North Korea.

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