Trump Responds to North Korea Missile Launch

Posted: Feb 13, 2017 10:28 AM

This weekend, Pyongyang launched a new ballistic missile, and later proclaimed its test, which violated UN Security Council resolutions to end the country's nuclear program, a "success." 

The test of the "medium to long range missile" occurred on Sunday, coincidentally while President Trump was playing golf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago. 

Reuters reported on the makeup of the missile.

The North's state-run KCNA news agency said leader Kim Jong Un supervised the test of the Pukguksong-2, a new type of strategic weapon capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

The KCNA report on the missile went on to say that the test solidified control and guidance capabilities, and further that the the device was able to launch with a high trajectory, instead of low, which gives it more range. 

In response to the test, the U.S., Japan, and South Korea have called for an urgent UN Security Council meeting, which is reported to take place this afternoon.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer released a statement in reference to North Korea. 

"We are going to reinforce and strengthen our vital alliances in the Pacific region as part of our strategy to deter and prevent the increasing hostility that we’ve seen in recent years from the North Korean regime," Spicer stated.

Trump Administration chief policy adviser Stephen Miller said Sunday that, "the message we're sending to the world right now is a message of strength and solidarity; we stand with Japan and we stand with our allies in the region to address the North Korean menace."

Further, at Mar-a-Lago, Trump and Abe partnered in an urgent, shortly-lived conference, which the Washington Post detailed.

Abe spoke in Japanese, and his words were translated by an aide to the side.

Among the points he made:

  • “North Korea’s most recent missile launch is absolutely intolerable.”
  • “North Korea must fully comply with the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions.”
  • “During the summit meeting that I had with President Trump, he assured me that the United States will always [be with] Japan 100 percent, and to demonstrate his determination as well as commitment, he is here with me at this joint press conference.”

Trump then took his turn at the lectern, offering this brief statement:

“I just want everybody to understand and fully know that the United States of America stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent."

China has a place in the matter as well, as increasing pressure exists for the country to make further moves toward pushing North Korea to abandon its nuclear program. The country has also stated that the root cause of the persistence of the program is not their fault, but that of tense relations with the U.S. and South Korea. 

Fox News reported that a Chinese Communist Party newspaper has issued a statement compelling the other world powers to take action. 

A Chinese Communist Party newspaper pressed world powers, including the U.S., to address the “root cause” of North Korea’s nuclear development, saying it’s futile for Washington and others to continue to crack down on its nuclear development while ignoring Pyongyang’s concerns. The paper added that by asking Beijing to pressure North Korea, world powers were not addressing the real issue at hand.

Both the Chinese and Russian foreign ministries have spoken out against North Korea's defiant actions. 

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