from Sputnik News:
The latest missile launch by North Korea has resulted in a new surge in tensions between Washington and Pyongyang. A security adviser to President Trump has called North Korea the “greatest immediate threat to the US” while the president has already called for new sanctions against Pyongyang.
The potential of an open military conflict between the United States and North Korea is growing, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser said Saturday.
“I think it’s increasing every day, which means that we are in a race, really, we are in a race to be able to solve this problem,” Lt. Gen. Herbert McMaster said speaking at a defense conference in California, as quoted by CNN.
Calling North Korea “the greatest immediate threat to the United States,” McMaster, however, said that President Trump remains committed to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Speaking further, McMaster said non-military ways still exist to the resolve the crisis, including calling on China to impose greater economic measures against North Korea, adding that Beijing has “tremendous coercive economic power” over Pyongyang.
“There are ways to address this problem short of armed conflict, but it is a race because [Kim Jong-un’s] getting closer and closer, and there’s not much time left,” he said.
On Sunday, North Korea criticized the US policy on the ongoing crisis and called Washington a “warmonger,” referring to the upcoming joint US-South Korean drills.
“It is an open, all-out provocation against the DPRK, which may lead to a nuclear war any moment,” the North’s ruling party Rodong newspaper said, using the official name of North Korea.
“The US and South Korean puppet warmongers would be well advised to bear in mind that their DPRK-targeted military drill will be as foolish as an act precipitating their self-destruction,” the newspaper added.
A new joint US-South Korean military exercise is scheduled to kick off on Monday, December 4. The drills, known as Vigilant Ace, will involve 230 aircraft, including F-22 Raptor jets from the US Air Force, and some 12,000 US military personnel.
On Wednesday, the North launched a Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile(ICBM) reportedly capable of covering 13,000 kilometers (8,077 miles). According to the South Korean Defense Ministry, the test was successful and the missile is believed to be capable of reaching Washington DC or any area of the continental US. Pyongyang commented on the launch, stating that it has completed its “nuclear force” with the development of the Hwasong-15 ICBM.
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