A day after North Korea fired an intermediate range ballistic missile over Japan, President Donald Trump said he is confident that the US’ options toward North Korea are “effective and overwhelming.” “After seeing your capabilities and commitment here today, I am more confident than ever that our options in addressing this threat are both effective and overwhelming,” Trump said in his address to air force personnel and families on the 70th anniversary of the US Air Force.
Trump said America and its allies will never be intimidated. “We will defend our people, our nations, and our civilisation from all who dare to threaten our way of life. This includes the regime of North Korea, which has once again shown its utter contempt for its neighbours and for the entire world community,” he said.
North Korea yesterday fired an intermediate range ballistic missile over Japan and into the Pacific Ocean. But the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) had said the ballistic missile did not pose a threat to North America. Meanwhile, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis spoke over phone with his Japanese counterpart Defense Itsunori Onodera following the latest North Korean missile launch, the Pentagon said.
“The secretary reassured his Japanese counterpart of America’s unwavering commitment to the defense of Japan and the broader security of the region,” Director of Defense Press Operations Colonel Rob Manning said. “Mattis and Onodera agreed that the North Korean provocation called for a strong demonstration of a unified front between the US, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, and agreed on the importance of robust trilateral defense cooperation between the three nations,” he said.
Mattis told reporters on his way to Mexico that as a result of the North Korean missile test, tens of millions of Japanese people were seen going into duck and cover, which was second time that they’ve had to do that since World War II. “I believe it will further North Korea’s isolation –diplomatic and economic isolation — because more and more nations are realising there’s simply no collaboration with the international community. There’s a dismissal of international concern, unified UN Security Council concerns,” he said.
“I think they’re deepening their isolation, economic and diplomatic. And right now, I don’t have any more forensics on it. That takes us a little while, as we amass everything and analyse it,” Mattis said. Responding to a question, Mattis said he is not aware of any effort on the part of South Korea to shoot down the North Korean missile. “The South Korean government said they fired a missile within minutes afterwards, from their coastline. It was a short-range missile, obviously, simply to make clear that they have the capability to defend themselves,” he said.