North Korea fires missile that shows it can hit ‘everywhere in the world’, by Zachary Cohen.
Pyongyang launched a Hwasong-14 missile in the early hours of Wednesday morning local time that flew higher, and demonstrated a longer range, than any of its previous tests.
It was the first missile fired in almost two months, and came despite Trump’s repeated warnings, delivered again during this trip to South Korea earlier this month in a direct message to North Korea: “do not try us.”
The missile launched Wednesday spent around 53 minutes in the air, reaching a height of up to 4,500 kilometers (2,800 miles), before splashing down in waters around 210 kilometers (130 miles) west of Japan’s Aomori prefecture, according to authorities in Japan and South Korea.
Hours after the launch, Trump sounded more restrained, telling reporters Tuesday at the White House that the US “will handle” the situation. “We will take care of it,” the President said, adding later that North Korea “is a situation that we will handle.”
Mattis, who was with Trump in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, outlined how much tougher that situation has become. The test missile, he said, went “higher, frankly, than any previous shot they have taken” and demonstrates that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un now has the ability to hit “everywhere in the world basically.”
“The bottom line is, it’s a continued effort to build a threat — a ballistic missile threat that endangers world peace, regional peace and certainly the United States,” Mattis concluded.