President Donald Trump warned on Tuesday that all options are on the table for the United States to respond to North Korea’s firing of a ballistic missile over northern Japan’s Hokkaido island into the sea in a new show of force.
The missile test further increased tension in east Asia as U.S. and South Korean forces conducted annual military exercises on the Korean peninsula, angering Pyongyang which sees the war games as a preparation for invasion.
North Korea has conducted dozens of ballistic missile tests under its leader, Kim Jong Un, in defiance of U.N. sanctions, but firing projectiles over mainland Japan is rare.
Trump, who has vowed not to let North Korea develop nuclear missiles that can hit the mainland United States, said the world had received North Korea’s latest message “loud and clear”.
“This regime has signalled its contempt for its neighbours, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behaviour,” Trump said in a statement.
“Threatening and destabilising actions only increase the North Korean regime’s isolation in the region and among all nations of the world. All options are on the table,” he said.
Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke and agreed that North Korea “poses a grave and growing direct threat” to the United States, Japan and South Korea, the White House said.
Global equity prices slipped and investors flocked to safe-haven assets after the missile firing.
The dollar fell to its lowest level in more than 2-1/2 years against a basket of major currencies, benchmark 10-year Treasury yields fell and gold hit a more-than-nine-month peak. U.S. stocks pared losses after opening sharply lower.