UNITED STATES – President Trump promised Tuesday that the United States “will handle” North Korea after the regime of Kim Jong Un carried out its latest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test in defiance of escalating international pressure. Trump also vowed to continue his efforts to tighten the global diplomatic and economic vise on Pyongyang.
“We will take care of that situation,” Trump told reporters as he met with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan. “It is a situation that we will handle.”
The president did not specify what that might mean.
Defense Secretary James Mattis, sitting near the president, said that the ICBM fired Tuesday “went higher, frankly, than any previous shot they’ve taken” and told reporters that the launch showed that North Korea was determined to build missiles “that could threaten everywhere in the world, basically.”
The president and Mattis spoke after the Pentagon confirmed that North Korea had fired an ICBM at about 1:17 p.m. ET, its first test since mid-September. The rocket traveled roughly 1,000 kilometers from launch point to the Sea of Japan, where it splashed down. But because it flew on a lofted trajectory — sacrificing distance for altitude — some independent experts said the missile could conceivably have reached Washington, D.C..