- President Donald Trump said that he discussed North Korea’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile with the military.
- “I will only tell you that we will take care of it,” Trump said.
- Initial estimates show that the missile could have reached the highest altitude yet from the country’s missile program.
President Donald Trump gave a short statement on North Korea’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile launch, during a press conference on Tuesday.
Early estimates indicate North Korea’s launch could be the highest altitude reached by the country’s missile program.
“I will only tell you that we will take care of it,” Trump said. “We’ve had a long discussion on it.”
“It is a situation that we will handle,” Trump continued, before pivoting the subject to his tax plan.
During the press conference, Defense Secretary James Mattis also confirmed initial reports that the latest missile made a breakthrough in terms of North Korea’s capabilities.
“[The] missile went higher, frankly, than any previous shot they’ve taken,” Mattis said. “It’s a research and development effort on their part.”
“The bottom line is that its a continued effort to build a ballistic missile threat that endangers world peace, regional peace, and certainly the United States,” Mattis continued.
North Korea’s latest ICBM launch follows Trump’s move to designate the country as a state sponsor of terrorism earlier this month, which allows the US to impose additional sanctions against the country.
Foreign policy experts believe that the launch was not spurred by the designation, given that the country has tested its missiles in the same period in years past. North Korea has vehemently decried the designation and has since made a fresh series of threats.
“We will take care of that situation,” Trump said to reporters on Tuesday. “Nothing changed, we have a very serious approach. We take it very seriously.”
While Trump’s statements following North Korea’s significant development appeared to be terse, the State Department reportedly said the US “strongly condemns North Korea’s launch,” and added that “diplomatic options remain viable and open, for now.”
Meanwhile, the US and Japan requested a United Nations Security Council meeting on Wednesday to discuss “how the global community can counter North Korea’s threat to international peace.”
“In addition to implementing all existing UN sanctions, the international community must take additional measures to enhance maritime security, including the right to interdict maritime traffic,” Tillerson said, referring to North Korea.