Published: Sat, May 06, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

South Korea Says THAAD Can Defend Against Attack


President Donald Trump would not rule out the use of military force against North Korea in an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Saturday, just hours after Pyongyang launched a missile test in defiance of global pressure.

"People are saying, "Is he sane?' I have no idea", Mr Trump told CBS" Face the Nation television show on Sunday. And he was able to do it. "So obviously, he's a pretty smart cookie".

He said North Korea's most recent missile test represents "open defiance of the global community".

A contentious USA anti-missile system based in southeastern South Korea can now defend against North Korean missiles, a South Korean official said Tuesday.

"The threat of a North Korean nuclear attack on Seoul or Tokyo is real, and it is likely only a matter of time before North Korea develops the capability to strike the USA mainland".

Defense Ministry spokesman Moon Sang Gyun said Tuesday the Terminal High Altitude Defense system, or THAAD, at a converted golf course in Seongju has "early capability" to respond to North Korea's nuclear and missile threat.

Pressed by Dickerson on whether he means there could be military action, Trump did not confirm, but he also did not deny. "And I can tell you also I don't believe that the president of China, who is a very respected man, will be happy either".

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North Korea has been "provocative all along", US Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. But "there is reason to be concerned" about North Korea's missile tests, she added.

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Asked about the failure of the recent missile tests, he said: "Perhaps they're just not very good missiles".

An embassy official said Mike Pompeo and his wife were in the South Korean capital on Monday, but would not say for how long.

'It is a chess game. "He's dealing with obviously very tough people", Trump said. "I mean, we'll see".

But South Korean officials said Sunday that the Trump administration has reaffirmed that the United States will pay for the missile defense battery, The New York Times reported. So eventually, [Kim Jong Un] will have a better delivery system.

Since meeting with China's President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida April 6-7, Trump has set aside his campaign threats to impose tariffs on Chinese imports and declare Beijing a currency manipulator.

McMaster said the United States and the global community needs to do something in response to North Korea.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the missile flew for several minutes and reached a maximum height of 71 kilometers (44 miles) before it apparently failed.

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