Trump Weighs 'Severe' Response to North Korea ICBM Test

Concern about North Korea's military capabilities comes as the authoritarian government, headed by Kim Jong Un, tested intercontinental ballistic missiles off their coast Tuesday.

The U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers from Andersen Air Force Base on the island of Guam conducted a 10-hour sequenced bilateral mission with South Korean and Japanese fighter jets, the statement said.

North Korea carried out a test launch earlier in the week of an intercontinental ballistic missile, complete with a re-entry vehicle that could allow it to be equipped with a nuclear warhead. Some experts believe that the missile has the range to reach Alaska and Hawaii and perhaps the US Pacific Northwest.

Dana White, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said that the commitment to USA allies is "ironclad" and that the United States is prepared to use "the full range of capabilities at our disposal against the growing threat from North Korea". "This is a campaign to lead us to a peaceful resolution because if this fails, we don't have very many good options left", he said.

North Korea's nuclear threat will no doubt be on the minds of both Trump and Chinese President Xi Jingping when they meet on the sidelines of the G-20 economic summit in Hamburg this week. On trade, Trump is expected to, again, push Xi to level the playing field between the USA and China and reduce the United States trade deficit with Beijing. "We will not look exclusively at North Korea".

"Together, we are facing the threat of the reckless and brutal regime in North Korea", Trump said at the White House.

"The answer in respect of North Korea is the denuclearisation of North Korea and for it to stop its reckless conduct, its reckless and provocative conduct, and as I said to you yesterday, the nation with overwhelmingly the greatest leverage over North Korea is China".

On Tuesday, North Korea claimed it had successfully launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile which is capable of carrying a "large, heavy nuclear warhead" and is able to strike the U.S. mainland.

"I couldn't believe I'd arrived in this unbelievably flawless place where freedom and happiness were guaranteed", he said.

USA officials have said the United States might seek unilaterally to sanction more Chinese companies that do business with North Korea, especially banks, echoing a tactic it used to pressure Iran to curb its nuclear programme. "We will use them if we must, but we prefer not to have to go in that direction".

Most analysts agree that a military strike on North Korea could put Seoul in grave danger from a retaliatory strike from Kim on the South Korean capital.

Gallagher said the next step is to bring in China and South Korea, to exert strong economic pressure on Kim Jong Un.

  • Anthony Vega