Pentagon Reiterates Anti-Missile Capabilities After North Korea Launch

The United States "reaffirmed its ironclad security commitments" to South Korea and Japan, the Pentagon said.

President Donald Trump was photographed on Saturday night at his private club, Mar-a-Lago, as he reviewed intelligence reports on a North Korean missile launch with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at an outdoor patio table.

Strategic Command systems detected and tracked what officials said was a North Korean missile launch yesterday at 5:55 p.m. EST, according to a news release issued by Stratcom.

"The United States of America stands behind Japan, a great ally, 100 percent", Trump said.

"In response to North Korea's missile launch Sunday, we are reviewing measures to discard security concerns and show our determination to retaliate against any aggression by the North", he said.

Closed consultations were to take place late on Monday afternoon, said the UN Mission for Ukraine, which holds the rotating security council presidency.

"It is also believed that it was an armed provocation to test the response from the new U.S. administration under President Trump", it added.

"This is essentially a low-intensity provocation to see how the Trump government responds", Professor Kim Yong-hyun of Dongkuk University in Seoul told RFA's Korean Service.

"We urge North Korea to stop its provocative actions, which threaten worldwide peace and security, and instead re-engage with the global community, and take credible, concrete steps to prioritise the well-being of its own people instead of the nuclear and ballistic missile programmes".

Reported by RFA's Korean Service.

"North Korea must fully comply with the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions", Abe said through a translator.

This was the latest in a series of tests in the past year, including North Korea's fifth of a nuclear device.

North Korea said the missile was propelled by a solid-fuel engine, which provides less warning of an impending launch because it takes less time to fuel the rocket.

Later, after learning of the missile launch, DeAgazio looked over at the president and prime minister's table and watched the two leaders react to the news, as aides surrounded them and documents were scoured by flashlight. The country's state-run media said North Korea will continue both its nuclear and missile development programs until the U.S. abandons its "hostile policy".

"Our country has clearly expressed its standpoint, that we will continue to build up our capacity for self-defense, with nuclear forces and a pre-emptive strike capability as the main points, as long as our enemies continue sanctions to suppress us", Pyongyang student Kim Guk Bom said Sunday.

A road-mobile missile launcher presents a more hard challenge for the US and its allies in the region because it reduces the time available to detect and respond, compared to launching from a fixed site.

  • Leroy Wright