As if the escalating situation with North Korea wasn’t already scary enough, the Pentagon on Wednesday released more information on the ballistic missile test Pyongyang conducted on Tuesday, ominously declaring it “not one we’ve seen before.”
The missile was comprised of two parts, CNN reports, the first of which was known to U.S. intelligence. But the second part of the missile, which allowed it to travel further and officially made it an intercontinental ballistic missile, remains a mystery. The missile was also launched from a location that had never before been used for a weapons test, Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said Wednesday.
Davis said the ICBM, a classification given to missiles that can travel more than 3,400 miles, flew for 37 minutes on Tuesday before it landed off the coast of Japan. “We strongly condemn this act by North Korea. It is escalatory, it is destabilizing, it is also dangerous,” David said, noting that commercial planes and ships were at risk from the unannounced test.
Meanwhile, U.N. envoy Nikki Haley had her own harsh words for North Korea at an urgent meeting called by South Korea and Japan. “The United States is prepared to use the full range of our capabilities to defend ourselves and our allies,” she said. “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 raised the specter of more sanctions for North Korea and added that countries that are trading with Pyongyang in violation of U.N. resolutions risk losing their own trading relationships with the U.S. “We will not look exclusively at North Korea; we will look at any country that chooses to do business with this outlaw regime,” she said.
“In the coming days,” Haley said, she will introduce a resolution “that raises the international response in a way that is proportionate to North Korea’s new escalation.” The idea already has detractors, most notably from Russia.