The intercontinental ballistic missile launched by North Korea this week was unlike any weapon America has seen from the menacing nation, the Pentagon said Wednesday.
Spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said the ICBM was “not one we’ve seen before,” seemingly verifying the worst fears about North Korea’s capabilities for chaos.
“We strongly condemn this act by North Korea. It is escalatory, it is destabilizing, it is also dangerous,” Davis said.
“This act demonstrates that North Korea poses a threat to the United States and our allies and we remain prepared to defend ourselves and our allies and to use the full range of capabilities at our disposal.”
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Davis confirmed the tested missile could travel more than 3,400 miles — far enough to hit Hawaii or Alaska. The missile also poses a threat to planes and ships in its way, especially since North Korea runs its tests without any prior announcement, he said.
North Korea’s state-run media released a video of the launch Wednesday, backing up its boasts from the previous day its weapons expansion.
Officials from the United States, Japan and South Korea scrambled on Tuesday to determine a response after North Korea warned it could “strike anywhere on Earth.”
The three nations will be convening for an emergency meeting with the United Nations Security Council Wednesday to address the threats.
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Trump administration officials also rushed into meetings Tuesday to discuss the launch, but neither the White House nor President Trump has issued an official response.
But before Trump departed Wednesday for his four-day trip through Europe, he tweeted yet another prodding of China, the country best positioned to leverage Kim’s empire.
“Trade between China and North Korea grew almost 40% in the first quarter. So much for China working with us – but we had to give it a try!” he wrote.
The top U.S. general in South Korea warned Wednesday that there wouldn’t be any easy solution to Kim’s continuing pressure.
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Gen. Vincent K. Brooks said a conflict might only be avoided by one thing that is in short supply: Self-restraint.
“Self-restraint, which is a choice, is all that separates armistice and war,” he said in a statement.
“As this alliance missile live-fire shows, we are able to change our choice when so ordered by our alliance national leaders. It would be a grave mistake for anyone to believe anything to the contrary.”
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