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US Ambassador: North Korean Missile Was A 'Clear & Sharp Military Escalation'

Kim Jong Un

Washington has led the push for tougher sanctions in response to the milestone in Pyongyang's drive to threaten the US mainland with a nuclear strike, and Trump has also warned he is ready to use force if necessary.

US President Donald Trump said he was considering some "very severe things" to respond to North Korea's test launch, calling the country's behaviour "a shame".

"It's a shame they're behaving this way and they're behaving in a very risky manner, and something will have to be done about it", Trump said.

"It really goes to this issue of banks operated in northeast China that are facilitating North Korea's access to the worldwide financial system", Glaser said at a Center for Strategic and global Studies meeting.

Mattis said the launch doesn't necessarily bring the USA and North Korea closer to war, even as President Donald Trump announced that he's weighing some "pretty severe things" in response. And while Trump's Pentagon chief, Jim Mattis, says the United States would prevail, he believes it would be "a catastrophic war".

The issue presents Trump, who took office in January, with perhaps his biggest foreign policy challenge and has put pressure on his relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, whom the Republican president had pressed without success to rein in Pyongyang.

They also called on the countries that border North Korea to make efforts to convince the regime "to abandon its current threatening and provocative path and immediately take steps to denuclearise and halt its ballistic missile programme". The draft statement said the council would start work on "further significant measures" against North Korea.

The intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 is seen during its test in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, July 5 2017.

"U.S. bombers and Republic of Korea fighters are just two of many lethal military options at our disposal", said Lt. Gen. Thomas Bergeson, U.S. Forces Korea deputy commander. North Korea has also conducted six underground nuclear tests, the latest one coming in September 2016.

Since taking office in May, Moon has been trying to improve ties with North Korea, but his efforts have produced little, with the North testing a series of newly developed missiles. China stopped buying North Korean coal in February and total imports from the North have steadily dropped every month from $207 million in January to $99 million in April.

Yesterday's drills in South Korea were aimed at boosting readiness against possible maritime North Korean aggression. The two sides' expert teams jointly launched parallel reports on US-China relations to redefine their differences and commonalities to date in an event at the think tank.