US will take care of N.Korean missile launch: Trump
WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has said "we will take care of it", reacting to the latest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test by North Korea, a move that has hiked tensions in the region.
Trump told reporters in brief remarks from the White House on Tuesday after the missile launch that the US "will take care of it.... It is a situation that we will handle", Efe news reported.
The President offered no further details, however he did say that the launch does not change anything about US strategy toward Pyongyang.
Pyongyang's most recent previous launch was on September 15, when a North Korean missile flew over northern Japan before plunging into the Pacific Ocean.
Wednesday's launch is the 20th missile test undertaken by Pyongyang so far this year.
"North Korea has fired its highest-ever intercontinental ballistic missile and poses a worldwide threat," US Secretary of Defence James Mattis said.
Earlier, the Pentagon said the missile had flown for about 1,000 km before falling into the Sea of Japan, BBC reported.
The launch, early on Wednesday, is the latest in a series that have raised international tensions.
North Korea's last ballistic missile launch was in September and came days after its sixth nuclear test.
The missile was launched from Sain Ni, North Korea and flew roughly around 1,000 km before landing in the Sea of Japan, Fox News reported.
The missile flew east for about 53 minutes before landing off the north of Honshu, Japan's largest island, the New York Times reported.
In a statement, the Pentagon said that the missile, launched from Sain Ni, near the North Korean capital, flew for about 1,000 km before plunging into the Sea of Japan, within Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone, Efe news reported.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday that "diplomatic options" were available to resolve the nuclear controversy with North Korea.
"Diplomatic options remain viable and open, for now. The US remains committed to finding a peaceful path to denuclearization and to ending belligerent actions by North Korea," he said, adding however that Pyongyang's "relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them must be reversed."
The top US diplomat also said: "All nations must continue strong economic and diplomatic measures. 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 transporting goods to and from North Korea".
In his September address to the United Nations, Trump had threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea if it continued its military escalation, and he mockingly dubbed Kim Jong-un "Rocket Man" in response to his frequent missile tests.
In early November, Trump embarked on a week-and-a-half-long Asia tour during which he visited South Korea and Japan, along with other nations, and reaffirmed the US commitment to its allies in the region.