In defiance of multiple UN Security Council resolutions, North Korea recently launched a ballistic missile into the sea off its east coast. This was North Korea’s first ballistic missile test in 2017, following an unprecedented 24 ballistic missile launches last year.
Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said the United States strongly condemned North Korea’s ballistic missile launch and would take all necessary measures to deter and defeat threats to the citizens and territories of the U.S. and its allies.
The launch occurred near the North Korean northwestern city of Kusong and the missile flew about 500 kilometers roughly due east into the Sea of Japan.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command determined the missile did not pose a threat to North America or its allies in the region.
Nevertheless, said Captain Davis, “[Such launches from North Korea are] all serious. This is a program they are moving forward on, to try to develop this capability, and they’ve been doing it in defiance of multiple [United Nations Security Council] resolutions and actions to try to get them to stop. They are very open and transparent about their desire to build this capability, and we are open about our ability to defeat it.”
“Our commitment to the defense of our allies in the face of these threats,” said spokesman Davis, “especially the Republic of Korea and Japan, is ironclad.”
Shortly after the launch, the State Department’s Special Representative for North Korea Policy, Ambassador Joseph Yun, spoke with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts —- South Korean Special Representative Kim and Japanese Director General Kanasugi, affirming close coordination with the South Korean and Japanese governments.
In a written statement, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley called “on all members of the Security Council to use every available resource to make it clear to the North Korean regime — and its enablers — that these launches are unacceptable. It is time to hold North Korea accountable – not with our words, but with our actions."
The launch occurred during Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit with President Trump, and the two leaders issued a joint statement reiterating that “The United States and Japan strongly urge North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and not to take any further provocative actions.” The statement also emphasized the full commitment of the United States to defending its homeland, forces, and allies “through the full range of U.S. military capabilities.”