US backs its Pacific allies after North Korea tests missile
THE White House on Sunday responded to North Korea's latest missile test and promised it will "reinforce” its alliances in the Pacific. President Donald Trump said he stood behind Japan "100%” in a press conference immediately following the news, which happened during a visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
A broader statement on the United States' position came from senior adviser Stephen Miller during a television interview on Sunday.
"The message is that we are going to reinforce and strengthen our vital alliances in the Pacific region as part of our strategy to deter and prevent the increasing hostility that we've seen in recent years from the North Korean regime,” Mr Miller told Fox News Sunday. "More broadly, as you know, we're inheriting a situation around the world today that is deeply troubling. The situation in North Korea, the situation in Iraq, the situation in Syria, the situation in Yemen. And this President is committed to a fundamental rebuilding of the armed forces of the United States that will again send a signal to the world that America's strength will not be tested.”
Speaking at one of Mr Trump's golf resorts in Florida, Mr Abe said: "North Korea's most recent missile launch is absolutely intolerable. President Trump and I, myself, completely share the view that we are going to promote further cooperation between the two nations. Also we are going to further reinforce our alliance.” North Korea must fully comply with all UN Security Council resolutions, he added.
Kim Jong-un's regime has been subject to harsh economic sanctions, including restrictions on coal shipments, because of its weapons testing. And the country's highest-profile defector, Thae Yong-ho, the former deputy ambassador in London, has said Mr Kim hopes to control a functioning nuclear arsenal by the end of this year.
The international community has pursued a policy of sanctions against Mr Kim's regime in an attempt to dissuade the dictator from striving to gain nuclear weapons. But Mr Thae said he believed Pyongyang would stop at nothing to obtain the apocalyptic arsenal, even if it was offered trillions of dollars to do so.