Trump Promises to Deal With North Korea ‘Very Strongly’Margaret Talev, Jennifer Jacobs and Kanga Kong
President has vowed not to allow capability of strike on U.S.
Missile test came as Trump was hosting Japan’s prime minister
U.S. President Donald Trump promised to deal “very strongly” with North Korea after Kim Jong Un’s latest missile test demonstrated progress in his quest to develop longer-range nuclear weapons.
Trump called the nation a “big, big problem” during a joint news conference at the White House on Monday with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “We will deal with that very strongly,” Trump said.
Officials from South Korea, Japan and the U.S. held a video conference on Tuesday to share information on the missile test, South Korea’s Defense Ministry said. The three nations agreed the missile program posed a grave and consistent threat to the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia, the ministry said, adding that the U.S. confirmed its “iron clad” commitment to defend its two Asian allies.
The test launch North Korea carried early Sunday local time -- in the midst of a Trump summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe -- showed improvements in the country’s medium-range missile, the South Korean military said. The projectile flew 500 kilometers (310 miles) into the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea.
While Trump has vowed to prevent North Korea from developing the capability to strike the U.S. with a missile, the administration hasn’t yet announced a detailed policy on the issue.
Trump and Abe, who at the time of the launch were at the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, responded with a joint rebuke. Abe said the missile test could “absolutely not be tolerated” and called on North Korea to fully comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions. Trump said that the U.S. “stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent.”
China, which remains North Korea’s dominant trading partner, said Monday that it opposed the test and called on all sides to avoid escalating tensions. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said the country would take a constructive and responsible role in discussions.
The United Nations Security Council strongly condemned the missile launch in an emergency meeting on Monday. Members agreed to take more measures against North Korea while also stressing the need to reduce tensions in the region.