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National Security & Defense

North Korea’s Sixth Missile Test: An Update from the Weekend

Early this morning, a North Korean diplomat described his country’s missile tests as “gift package[s],” warning the U.S. to expect more if the Trump administration continues with its “reckless provocations.”

“The recent self-defense measures by my country DPRK are gift package addressed to none other than the U.S.,” said North Korea’s ambassador to Switzerland, Han Tae Song.

Han is referring to North Korea’s hydrogen-bomb test, conducted on Sunday. Early this morning, a report published by Asia Business Daily claimed North Korea was spotted moving an ICBM, supposedly in preparation for another missile test.

After leaving church in Washington, D.C., Sunday morning, President Trump told reporters that the White House has not ruled out a military response. Defense Secretary James Mattis said the same, warning of “a massive military response” to a threat against the U.S. or its allies.

Yesterday, the U.S. began pressuring the U.N. to levy sanctions against the Kim regime. Senior Trump officials have said that cutting off oil and other fuels to North Korea is the “last best chance” to end North Korean aggression diplomatically. Russian president Vladimir Putin, however, called sanctions “useless,” again breaking with the Trump administration. Putin claimed North Korea believes Western aggression is threatening its existence, resulting in nuclear stockpiles to prevent a Saddam Hussein-style overthrow.

In a tweet, Trump suggested the U.S. has been exploring implementing sanctions against any country engaging in trade with or exporting to North Korea:

Some have speculated that this weekend’s missile test may escalate tensions with China. Chinese president Xi Jinping left North Korean aggression out of his speech at the BRICS — a group of five emerging national economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) — summit yesterday, but the group did issue a statement expressing concern and imploring the situation’s peaceful resolve.


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