WH: North Korea Signalling ‘Contempt’; ‘All Options Are on the Table’

By Susan Jones | August 29, 2017 | 8:56am EDT
In a photo posted on a North Korean propaganda website, Kim Jong-un applauds after observing an ICBM launch on the morning of July 4, 2017, local time. (Screengrab: Uriminzokkiri)

(CNSNews.com) – The White House issued a brief statement Tuesday morning in reaction to North Korea’s latest provocation – firing an intermediate-range missile straight over Japan.

The missile landed in the ocean, but the political ripples have not yet subsided.

In a brief statement Tuesday morning, the White House repeated that “all options are on the table” when it comes to dealing with North Korea. The statement said:

The world has received North Korea’s latest message loud and clear: This regime has signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior.

Threatening and destabilizing actions only increase the North Koreans regime’s isolation in the region and among all national of the world. All options are on the table.

North Korea fired the missile over Japan just three days after test-firing three short-range missiles.

Earlier this month, a spokesman for the North Korean army threatened to target “areas around Guam” with ballistic missiles, in response to the U.S. deployment of U.S. Air Force bombers based in Guam for combined exercises with South Korean warplanes.

That same day, President Trump warned that Pyongyang’s threats “will be met with fire and fury, like the world has never seen.”

A week later, North Korean media reported that Kim Jong-un had delayed a decision on whether to fire missiles toward Guam.

President Trump reacted with a tweet on Aug. 16, saying: “Kim Jong-un of North Korea made a very wise and well-reasoned decision. The alternative would have been both catastrophic and unacceptable!”

As recently as last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was holding out hope that the Kim regime was demonstrating restraint. “We hope that this is the beginning of this signal we’ve been looking for,” he said on Aug. 22.

Then on Sunday, two days after North Korea test-fired the short range missiles in violation of U.S. Security Council resolutions, Tillerson noted that the Kim regime was sending the message “that they are not prepared to completely back away from their position.”

"Having said that, we are going to continue our peaceful pressure campaign...working with allies, working with China as well, to see if we can bring the regime in Pyongyang to the negotiating table, with a view to begin a dialogue on the different future for Korean peninsula and for North Korea," Tillerson told "Fox News Sunday."

He said he wanted North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un to understand that “there is a different path that he can choose.”

The latest missile launch indicates that Kim is not choosing that different path.

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