The United States would be very disappointed if North Korea tested a long-range or nuclear missile and would take appropriate action as a leading military and economic power, White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said on Sunday.
The U.S. on Sunday said it would take action if North Korea tested a long-range or nuclear missile, as concerns in Washington ramp up over Pyongyang's threat earlier this month to deliver an unwanted "Christmas gift." National security adviser Robert O'Brien told ABC's 'This Week' that Washington has many "tools in its kit" to respond to any such test.
And he added that the U.S. would be extraordinarily disappointed and would "demonstrate that disappointment" if North Korean leader Kim Jong un follows through on his threat to test a long-range missile.
That forceful new message from the White House comes after President Trump brushed off Kim's threat on Christmas Eve.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING (DECEMBER 24, 2019): "Maybe it's a nice present where he sends me a beautiful vase as opposed to a missile test." U.S. military commanders remain on high alert on the Korean peninsula, widely expecting a ballistic missile or nuclear weapons test, even though Christmas has come and gone.
North Korea has been pressuring Washington to offer new concessions to iron out differences over Pyongyang's shifting commitments to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
Despite Kim's provocation, O'Brien said the U.S. and North Korea have opened new channels of communication but didn't elaborate.
Over the years, Trump and Kim have engaged in personal diplomacy and boasted a good personal relationship.
Kim Jong Un has set a year-end deadline for the United States to offer a new initiative on Pyongyang's nuclear program.
More than 28,000 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea.