The development raises the stakes for Trump and other world leaders, who already faced difficult and limited options in dealing with North Korea’s aggression. Trump has tried to leverage China, Pyongyang’s only major ally, to get North Korea to change its behavior, but he has lamented a lack of success with Beijing.
The U.N. Security Council on Saturday unanimously put new sanctions on North Korea over its continued missile tests. The country has tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles that landed off the coast of Japan this year. Some analysis has said one of those missiles could potentially reach the mainland United States.
National security advisor H.R. McMaster recently said Trump is “not going to tolerate North Korea being able to threaten the United States.”
Pyongyang has repeatedly vowed retribution against the U.S. following sanctions or other measures meant to deter its nuclear and missile programs. After the U.N. imposed the newest sanctions, North Korea said it would bring “thousands-fold” revenge against the U.S.
It is not clear what actions the U.S. will take in response to the latest developments in North Korea’s nuclear program. Earlier this month, the U.S. tested an intercontinental ballistic missile just days after North Korea’s own test.
A senior congressional Democratic aide and former senior CIA official previously told NBC News they feared the U.S. would consider a limited pre-emptive strike against North Korea.
This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.