Friday, April 14, 2017

US Assessing 'Military Options' as North Korea Test Looms

The United States is assessing military options in response to North Korea's weapons programs, a White House foreign policy adviser confirmed Friday, saying another provocative test was a question of "when" rather than "if."

As speculation mounted that Pyongyang is preparing to fire a trial nuke or missile on a major anniversary Saturday, the official said the United States was poised to deal with the security threat posed by North Korea's nuclear ambitions, AFP reported.

"Military options are already being assessed," the adviser said on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive topic, describing a fresh test as "possible."

There are reports of activity at a nuclear test site in North Korea ahead of Saturday's 105th anniversary of the birth of the country's founder Kim Il-Sung.

"They have telegraphed a bit, it's no surprise that the anniversary is on Saturday, traditionally he has the big parade and rolls out his weapons and his mock weapons," said the adviser.

"Unfortunately it's not a new surprise for us, (North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un) continues to develop this program, he continues to launch missiles into the Sea of Japan. With the regime, it's not a matter of if, it's when."

The comments came after US President Donald Trump told reporters on Thursday that the "problem" of North Korea "will be taken care of."

Earlier, the US military dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb ever deployed in combat at targets in Afghanistan. Trump played down suggestions that it was also intended as a warning to Pyongyang.

"I don't know if this sends a message to North Korea. It doesn't make any difference if it does or not," he said.

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