North Korea fired a ballistic missile into the sea early on Sunday, the first such test since US President Donald Trump was elected, and his administration indicated that Washington would have a calibrated response to avoid escalating tensions.
The launch marks the first test of Trump’s vow to get tough on an isolated North Korean regime that last year tested nuclear devices and ballistic missiles at an unprecedented rate in violation of United Nations resolutions.
A US official said the Trump administration had been expecting a North Korean “provocation” soon after taking office and will consider a full range of options in response, but they would be calibrated to show US resolve while avoiding escalation.
Later, White House adviser Stephen Miller said on the television show “Fox News Sunday” that “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.”
“This was no surprise,” the official said. “The North Korean leader likes to draw attention at times like this.”The latest test comes a day after Trump held a summit meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and also follows Trump’s phone call last week with China’s President Xi Jinping. Read More…