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.”