Rex Tillerson: "North Korea's ICBM is new escalation of the threat" to the US and the world"
The US has confirmed that North Korea on Tuesday tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called it a "new escalation of the threat" to the US and the world and warned that Washington "will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea".
Pyongyang earlier said it was its first successful intercontinental ballistic missile test. US officials believe the North may now be able to fire a missile to Alaska.
However, experts say it cannot accurately hit a target. In response to the test over the Sea of Japan, the US and South Korea conducted a "combined [military] exercise to show our precision fire capability", Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement.
The US also asked for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the issue. A closed-door session of the 15-member body is expected later on Wednesday. In a statement, Mr Tillerson said: "The United States strongly condemns North Korea's launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile."
Testing an ICBM represents a new escalation of the threat to the United States, our allies and partners, the region, and the world." Mr Tillerson stressed that "global action is required to stop a global threat".
And he warned that any nation that provided economic or military benefits to the North or failed to fully implement UN Security Council resolution was "aiding and abetting a dangerous regime.
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