WASHINGTON (AP) – Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says North Korea is continuing to build missiles that can “threaten everywhere in the world.”
Mattis says a missile that North Korea launched early Wednesday local time flew higher than its previous projectiles.
He says South Korea has fired pinpoint missiles into surrounding waters to make certain that North Korea understands it can be “taken under fire” by the South.
He says North Korea is endangering world peace, regional peace and “certainly the United States.”
North Korea ended a 10-week pause in its weapons testing and threatened to heighten regional tensions by launching an intercontinental ballistic missile that landed in the Sea of Japan.
Mattis spoke Tuesday during a White House meeting with President Donald Trump and the top Republican congressional leaders.
President Trump told reporters Tuesday that “it is a situation that we will handle.”
The White House said earlier that Trump was briefed on North Korea’s ballistic missile launch early Wednesday local time, its first in two months. Press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted that Trump “was briefed, while missile was still in the air, on the situation in North Korea.”
The Pentagon says it detected and tracked a single North Korean missile launch and believes it was an intercontinental ballistic missile.
At the time of the launch, Trump was in a meeting with Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill.
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