Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is confirming that a North Korean test launch was indeed an intercontinental ballistic missile, calling it a “new escalation of the threat to the United States, our allies and partners.”
Tillerson issued a statement Tuesday evening condemning the launch, and said the United States would bring North Korea’s “provocative action” before the United Nations Security Council.
North Korea had immediately hailed the launch and the missile’s nearly 40-minute flight as its first successful test of an ICBM, but it took almost a full 24 hours for analysis of missile data to bear that out.
“Global action is required to stop a global threat,” said Tillerson. He called on all nations to “publicly demonstrate to North Korea that there are consequences” of its nuclear and missile programs.
The secretary said that President Trump and his national security advisers were “continuing to assess the situation in close coordination with our allies and partners.” The latest firing is certain to elevate the matter of containing North Korea when Trump and other leaders of the world’s richest countries meet later this week for their annual Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.
Throughout the Independence Day holiday, the White House had been silent on the missile launch, although Trump issued a pair of tweets late Monday following the test-firing. He did not mention the North Korea situation in remarks Tuesday afternoon at a picnic for military families.