US Defence Secretary: North Korean ballistic missile doesn't pose immediate threat

Updated: Dec 17, 2017, 10:09 IST | Agencies | Washington

US Defence Secretary says North Korean ballistic missile doesn't pose immediate threat to America

North Korea's latest missile test, which US experts say indicated an increasing technological sophistication, did not demonstrate an imminent threat of nuclear attack on the US, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said.

North Korea said it had successfully tested a new type of missile that could reach all of the US mainland
North Korea said it had successfully tested a new type of missile that could reach all of the US mainland

"No, not yet," Mattis said yesterday, when a reporter asked whether the November 29 test indicated a full capability to strike the US. "It has not yet shown to be a capable threat against us right now," Mattis added. His remark suggested he believes the Trump administration has additional time to pursue diplomacy before resorting to military options for eliminating the North's nuclear arsenal.

Jim Mattis. pics/afp
Jim Mattis. pics/afp

"We're still doing the forensic analysis," he added, apparently referring to intelligence agencies' study of imagery of the flight of the missile and its payload, which presumably included a mock warhead.

Shortly after the November test, Mattis said the missile flew higher than any previous North Korean test. Since then, Mattis has said little about it publicly, and the administration has sent mixed messages about its willingness to begin talks with North Korea.

Japan's USD46bn budget to counter the North

Tokyo: Japan plans a record USD46 billion defence budget for the next fiscal year to strengthen its missile defence against North Korea threat, a report said yesterday. It will mark the sixth straight year of increases in defence outlays.

N Korea must stop tests: Tillerson
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has told the UN Security Council that North Korea must cease all threatening behaviour before talks with the United States can begin. The top US diplomat added, "North Korea must earn its way back to the table."

Wright Brothers Day 
US President Donald Trump yesterday declared Sunday as 'Wright Brothers Day' to mark the 114th anniversary of the first airplane flight by Orville and Wilbur Wright. It was on December 17, 1903, that a handcrafted biplane lifted off the soft sand of a windswept beach in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, ushering in the age of aviation.

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