Trump, Abe and Moon discuss NKorea missile launch: WH

Washington: US President Donald Trump today held emergency talks with his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss their collective response to the latest provocative North Korean missile test.

North Korea test fired what appeared to be an intercontinental ballistic missile, posing a major challenge to Trump after he slapped fresh sanctions on Pyongyang and declared it a state sponsor of terrorism.

The missile was launched from Sain Ni, North Korea, and traveled about 1000 km before splashing down in the Sea of Japan, within Japan’s Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ).

Asserting that he will “take care of” the situation in the aftermath of the North Korean ballistic missile test, Trump held separate calls with Abe and Moon to discuss their collective response to the latest provocative behaviour by Pyongyang.

“We will take care of it. It is a situation we will handle,” Trump told reporters in the Roosevelt room of the White House soon after North Korea’s ballistic missile test.

In both the phone calls, the leaders underscored the grave threat that North Korea’s latest provocation poses not only to the US, South Korea, Japan and the entire world.

They reaffirmed their strong condemnation of North Korea’s reckless campaign to advance its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, noting that these weapons only serve to undermine North Korea’s security and deepen its diplomatic and economic isolation, the White House said.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, told reporters that the missile this time went higher than any previous time.

“Their Research and Development effort on their part they seem to be developing missiles that can reach anywhere in the world…in response South Korea has launched pinpoint missiles out into the water to make certain North Korea understands they could be under fire from our ally,” he said.

US Vice President Mike Pence said that all options are on the table.

“We will continue to marshall economic and diplomatic pressure until North Korea abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile programs once and for all,” Pence said in his Hudson Institute 2017 Herman Kahn Award Dinner.

“The Kim (North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un) regime in North Korea would do well not to test the resolve of President Trump or the capabilities of the Armed Forces of the United States,” he said.

In New York, Permanent Representative of the US to the UN, Nikki Haley, along with her counterparts from Japan and South Korea requested an emergency UN Security Council meeting to be held in the open chamber in response to North Korea’s latest test of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The Security Council session will be held on November 29, around 4:30 pm EST, a media release said.

Strongly condemning the missile launch, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said North Korea’s relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them must be reversed.

“Together the international community must continue to send a unified message to North Korea that it must abandon its WMD (weapons of mass destruction) programs. All nations must continue strong economic and diplomatic measures,” he said.

“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,” he added.

Tillerson said the US, in partnership with Canada, will convene a meeting of the United Nations Command Sending States to include South Korea and Japan and other key affected countries to discuss how the global community can counter North Korea’s threat to international peace.

“Diplomatic options remain viable and open, for now. The United States remains committed to finding a peaceful path to denuclearisation and to ending belligerent actions by North Korea,” he said.

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