The United States strongly condemns North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, the second in the month of July, in blatant violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions that reflect the will of the international community.
The United States rejects the regime’s claim that these tests and these weapons ensure North Korea’s security. In reality, they have the opposite effect. By threatening the world, these weapons and tests further isolate North Korea, weaken its economy, and deprive its people.
"All nations should take a strong public stance against North Korea," said U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, "by maintaining and strengthening U.N. sanctions to ensure North Korea will face consequences for its relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them.
As the principal economic enablers of North Korea’s nuclear weapon and ballistic missile development program, China and Russia bear unique and special responsibility for this growing threat to regional and global stability," he said.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley called on China to exercise its unique leverage over North Korea to compel a return to denuclearization negotiations.
"China must decide whether it is finally willing to take this vital step," she said.
"The time for talk is over. The danger the North Korean regime poses to international peace is now clear to all."
In the meantime, the United States will take all necessary steps to ensure the security of the American homeland and protect its allies in the region.
In that regard, just two days after the latest North Korean missile launch, the U.S. military tested the Terminal High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile system in Alaska. The defense system successfully intercepted a ballistic missile fired by an Air Force plane over the Pacific Ocean. Authorities said the exercise was successful and will help the U.S. stay ahead of the evolving threat.
The United States, said Secretary Tillerson, "seeks the peaceful, denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the end to belligerent actions by North Korea. As we and others have made clear, we will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea nor abandon our commitment to our allies and partners in the region."