- (ATTN: UPDATES throughout with Trump’s remarks, U.N. Security Council statement; CHANGES headline)
WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 (Yonhap) — The United States has not ruled out military options against North Korea, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser said Friday, after Pyongyang launched another missile over Japan.
Those options are “not only effective but overwhelming,” Trump added for his part, after reviewing a military base near Washington.
North Korea launched what appeared to be an intermediate-range ballistic missile over northern Japan early Friday (local time), defying international calls to halt its provocations. Pyongyang fired a missile on a similar trajectory less than three weeks ago.
Trump’s adviser, H.R. McMaster, told a press briefing at the White House that there is a military option to deal with the regime.
“It’s not what we would prefer to do, so what we have to do is call on all nations, call on everyone to do everything we can to address this global problem short of war,” he said, flanked by U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.
North Korea, according to McMaster, is “one of the world’s most urgent and dangerous security problems.”
And Trump said the country had “once again shown its utter contempt for its neighbors and for the entire world community.”
The president will meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York next Thursday, McMaster said.
This AP file photo shows U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. (Yonhap)
In New York, the U.N. Security Council unanimously condemned the launch and called it a “highly provocative” act. Just four days earlier, it had unanimously approved new sanctions on Pyongyang for its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3.
The council “strongly condemned these launches, condemned further the DPRK for its outrageous actions, and demanded that the DPRK immediately cease all such actions,” a statement said, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
It did not, however, mention further sanctions against the regime.
The last set of sanctions included restrictions on North Korea’s oil imports and a ban on its textile exports. A resolution in August sought to slash the country’s US$3 billion annual export revenue by a third.
The council urged all member states to fully implement the sanctions.
“We try and push through as many diplomatic options as we have,” Haley said during the White House briefing. “What we’re seeing is they continue to be provocative and reckless. There’s not a whole lot the Security Council is going to be able to do from here.”
The ambassador said she has “no problem kicking it to Gen. Mattis,” the U.S. Defense Secretary, because “I think he has plenty of options.”
The increasing levels of sanctions are expected to cut off 90 percent of North Korea’s trade.
“There’s always more you can do, but then you get into the humanitarian aspect of it,” she said, talking about how it could hurt North Korean citizens.