US President Donald Trump is already struggling to curb North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
The US president was faced with a huge dilemma on Sunday after news of the rogue state's intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) sparked international condemnation.
But it appears that the outspoken President is already struggling over what to do, as he has not said much in response to the tests.
He read a 23-word statement that pledged support for Tokyo, but did not mention anything about North Korea.
The missile — dubbed a Pukguksong-2 — appears to have been an upgraded version of a submarine-launched ballistic missile first tested successfully last year, CNBC reports.
The ICBM was likely not the first that the North Korean will launch.
Experts suggest that the missile could travel 1,870 miles and the test suggests North Korea is developing its capability.
Yet it appears to have thrown Mr Trump off course as he struggled to keep on top of the situation at his Palm Beach Florida retreat – where he was entertaining Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.
There are fears that even more tests by North Korea are on the horizon
Mr Abe blasted the missile test as “absolutely intolerable" but Mr Trump stayed almost silent.
Meanwhile, there are fears that even more tests by North Korea are on the horizon.
Kim Jong Un has vowed to develop a nuclear-capable missile that could certainly threaten American allies in the region – including South Korea and Japan and 80,000 US troops stationed there.
Tom Karako, Director of the Missile Defence Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies told CNBC: “I think that this particular test, while falling short of an ICBM demonstration, ought be seen as a technological advance.”
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"If North Korea is getting solid rocket motors right, then that really is a potential step function to making it harder for the United States to target these things on the ground, because they're more mobile," he said.
North Korea is likely to launch more ICBMs to show its strength against the US
“Moreover if they can get the motors right, and they stack them and configure them with other motors in a multi-stage configuration, you may already have the pieces of an ICBM laying on the ground, even if they've not been tested altogether yet.”
Mr Abe blasted the missile test as “absolutely intolerable" but Mr Trump stayed albeit silent.
However, the President had previously tweeted “It won’t happen!” in response to the North Korean’s leader's new year address when he said that he was close to launching an ICBM.
News of the missile launch broke while Mr Trump was with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Mr Trump must now seek advice on how to deal with the situation, his first test during his three-week long administration.
This is particularly important as North Korea is likely to launch another ICBM sometime in the near future, say experts.
It’s not known if Mr Trump will opt for military action – which could be dangerous – and heighten problems with country's in the region – especially China.
Last week, in a bid to reassure those in the region, US Secretary of Defence James Matis went to Tokyo and Seoul to reassure the US allies of American support.
The US also issued a threat to North Korea that any use of nuclear weapons would be met with an "overwhelming response by the US".
However, North Korea is unlikely to listen and will likely launch ICBMs to show its strength against US President Trump’s administration.
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