President Donald Trump said Tuesday that “all options are on the table” for his administration in responding to North Korea’s latest ballistic missile launch. Trump called Pyongyang’s actions “threatening and destabilizing,” and said in a statement that “this regime has signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior.”
The launch on Monday of a ballistic missile over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido traveled about 1,677 miles, South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said, according to the Associated Press. If confirmed, that distance would likely mark the longest trajectory of a North Korean ballistic missile test to date, and its path of flight over the territory of a US ally makes the test particularly provocative.
The Department of Defense confirmed the launch, though not the distance traveled, Tuesday afternoon. DOD said North Korea had launched an “intermediate range ballistic missile” from an area near Sunan air base, and that the missile “overflew the territory of northern Japan before landing in the Pacific Ocean approximately 500 nautical miles east of Japan,” in a press release. NORAD determined the missile posed no threat to North America, and US Pacific Command determined it posed no threat to Guam.
Trump spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the phone for 40 minutes after the launch Monday night, according to an AP report, and Abe said “Japan’s and the US positions are totally at one.” Trump and Abe agreed that “North Korea poses a grave and growing direct threat” to the US, Japan, and North Korea, according to the White House, and they “committed to increasing pressure on North Korea” and encouraging other nations to do the same.
The United Nations Security Council was planning to hold an emergency meeting Tuesday to discuss potential responses to Pyongyang’s latest provocation, the AP also reported.
Hours after the launch, four Republic of Korea F-15K fighter aircraft conducted a live-fire airstrike drill, dropping eight MK-84 bombs over the Taebaek Pilsung Firing Range, CNN reported. The exercise simulated an attack that would destroy North Korea’s top leadership.