North Korea test-launched a brand new type of missile this week, posing a regional threat the U.S. has never experienced before, the Pentagon said Wednesday.
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The spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, said Wednesday the missile was fired from a mobile launcher at an aircraft plant about 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Pyongyang, the North Korean capital. That is a location not previously used for missile launches.
The missile, which Davis declined to describe more precisely, was the first intercontinental-range weapon that North Korea has tested. A private analyst estimated that it had the potential to reach Alaska.
On Wednesday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the U.S. is prepared to use military force to quell the threat from North Korea if necessary.
“The United States is prepared to use the full range of our capabilities to defend ourselves and our allies. One of our capabilities lies with our considerable military forces. We will use them if we must but we prefer not to have to go in that direction,” Haley said before the United Nations Security Council Wednesday.
However, in the near term, Haley is preparing to propose a fresh round of economic sanction before the U.N. She also threatened that the U.S. would sever trading ties with any country that continues to do business in North Korea in violation of U.N. resolutions.
The aministration has expressed frustration with China over a perceived lack of effort and progress to enforce economic penalties on Pyongyang throughout recent months. Trump had expressed optimism after his first meeting with China's president that the two would work together to curb North Korea's nuclear pursuits.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.