In an apparent challenge to President Trump and the international community, North Korea fired off another intercontinental ballistic missile early Wednesday morning local time.
The missile reached a height of up to 4,500 kilometers (2,800 miles) before crashing into waters about 210 kilometers (130 miles) west of Japan’s Aomori prefecture, a report by CNN said. The missile spent about 53 minutes aloft.
In remarks made hours after the launch, the president told reporters that the U.S. “will handle” the situation. Defense Secretary James Mattis said that the test missile went “higher, frankly, than any previous shot they have taken.”
Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, who sits on the Armed Services Committee, raised the specter of war.
“If we have to go to war to stop this, we will,” Graham told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “If there’s a war with North Korea it will be because North Korea brought it on itself, and we’re headed to a war if things don’t change.”
A North Korea official repeated Wednesday that Pyongyang would not engage in diplomacy until the country had achieved its goal of testing a long-range ICBM capable of reaching the U.S.
“Before we can engage in diplomacy with the Trump administration, we want to sent a clear message that the DPRK has a reliable defense and offensive capacity to county any aggression from the United States,” the official said, as reported by CNN.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued a warning from Tokyo, saying that this latest action by North Korea “significantly undermines the strong determination of the international community’s peaceful resolution of the issue.”