North Korea’s latest volley of missile tests put new pressure on a preoccupied Trump administration Monday to identify how it will counter leader Kim Jong Un’s weapons development.
(Article by Matthew Pennington republished from Hosted.ap.org)
North Korea’s march toward having a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the U.S. mainland is among the pressing national security priorities President Donald Trump faces. He has vowed it “won’t happen” but has yet to articulate a strategy to stop it.
A wide array of options are on the table, but aggressive behavior by Pyongyang in response to U.S.-South Korean military drills that began last week could further shrink chances for diplomatic engagement.
Upheaval in the administration has added to uncertainty in foreign capitals about how Trump’s “America First” mantra will translate into foreign policy, and how a new president with no prior experience in government might handle a security crisis.
An administration official told The Associated Press Monday that tougher sanctions, military action and resumption of long-stalled negotiations with North Korea are all under consideration as part of a policy review to provide options for the president within weeks.
The official, who demanded anonymity to discuss the private deliberations, did not anticipate an immediate U.S. response to the North’s test-firing of four banned ballistic missiles Monday that South Korean and Japanese officials said flew about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles). Three of the missiles landed in waters that Japan, a close U.S. ally, claims as its exclusive economic zone.
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