KOREAS

The Denver Post - - NATION & WORLD - — Bruce Fin­ley, The Den­ver Post

the Ja­panese coast, ex­perts said if the mis­sile had flown in a lower arc it could have reached the U.S. main­land.

U.S. of­fi­cials have been try­ing to get China, North Korea’s main trad­ing part­ner and eco­nomic life­line, to ex­ert pres­sure on its neigh­bor. Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son has called Beijing and Mos­cow the “prin­ci­pal eco­nomic en­ablers” of Py­ongyang. Although China voted last year for harsh U.N. sanc­tions against the coun­try’s lead­ers and state-tied com­pa­nies, it fears that a desta­bi­lized regime would send refugees flood­ing across the bor­der and has urged di­a­logue as the only prag­matic ap­proach.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Sat­ur­day be­rated China, tweet­ing that “they do NOTH­ING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer al­low this to con­tinue.” And Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence, trav­el­ing Sun­day in Es­to­nia, told re­porters that “all op­tions are on the ta­ble.”

“The con­tin­ued provo­ca­tions by the rogue regime in North Korea are un­ac­cept­able, and the United States of Amer­ica is go­ing to con­tinue to mar­shal the sup­port of na­tions across the re­gion and

NORTHCOM of­fi­cials say North Korean mis­sile did not en­dan­ger U.S. main­land.

North Korea’s lat­est in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile launch did not en­dan­ger North Amer­ica, mil­i­tary of­fi­cials re­spon­si­ble for de­fend­ing the U.S. main­land an­nounced Sun­day af­ter­noon.

But North Korea’s launch of a bal­lis­tic mis­sile Fri­day, which landed in the Pa­cific Ocean east of Korea, shows that the Com­mu­nist na­tion re­mains a threat to the United States and al­lies, ac­cord­ing to Gen. Lori Robin­son, com­man­der of the Colorado-based North Amer­i­can Aero­space De­fence Com­mand and U.S. North­ern Com­mand. Robin­son made the an­nounce­ment in a state­ment is­sued Sun­day af­ter a test of U.S. de­fenses against high-alti­tude mis­siles over the ocean.

And Robin­son re­it­er­ated a com­mit­ment to work with South Korea and Ja­pan — and to de­fend those coun­tries and the United States — “in the face of th­ese con­tin­ued North Korean provo­ca­tions.”

NORAD and North­ern Com­mand forces de­tected North Korea’s mis­sile Fri­day and tracked it, the mil­i­tary of­fi­cials said from Peter­son Air Force Base, east of Colorado Springs. across the world to fur­ther iso­late North Korea eco­nom­i­cally and diplo­mat­i­cally,” Pence said.

North Korea tested its first nu­clear weapon in 2006 and has been bur­dened with six sets of U.N. sanc­tions since then. The North claims its weapons are for de­fen­sive pur­poses. But a se­ries of mis­sile launches and tests con­ducted since Kim Jong Un came to power have in­creased con­cern that North Korea may be clos­ing in on the abil­ity to fit a nu­clear weapon on a mis­sile’s nose cone.

The North Korean leader him­self had boasted that more mis­sile tests would be com­ing. In March, he vowed to send a “big­ger gift pack­age to the Yan­kees,” state-run me­dia re­ported.

“Peo­ple have been warn­ing about the North Korean ICBM for 20 years,” Joseph Cir­in­cione, pres­i­dent of the Ploughshares Fund, said Sun­day. “But the wolf is at the door. This a very real threat to the United States.”

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