Donald Trump has warned of a US military build-up as fears grow he is poised to strike against North Korea.
The President said: “Our military is rapidly becoming stronger than ever before. Frankly, we have no choice.”
Britain said it stood alongside its allies against the rogue state. Britain and the US have condemned North Korea after its latest missile test brought the prospect of war ever closer.
US Vice-President Mike Pence said the failed launch yesterday was yet more “provocation”.
Speaking in South Korea’s capital Seoul, he told military personnel: “Our commitment to this historic alliance with the courageous people of South Korea has never been stronger.”
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Britain stands “alongside our international partners” in demanding North Korea starts heeding UN resolutions banning its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Donald Trump reacted to the missile test with what seemed to be a clear warning to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The US President said: “Our military is building and is rapidly becoming stronger than ever before. Frankly, we have no choice.”
Mr Trump’s National Security Council has reportedly outlined various options to him including assassination, and stationing nukes in South Korea.
The President’s National Security Adviser General HR McMaster said all options are on the table for dealing with North Korea.
He also revealed the US and China are trying to broker an agreement over how to deal with the threat posed by Dictator Kim Jong-un.
General McMaster said the missile launch was part of a pattern of “destabilising and threatening behaviour”.
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He added: “I think there is international consensus now, including the Chinese... that this is a situation that just can’t continue. And the President has made clear that he will not accept the United States and... partners in the region being under threat from this hostile regime with nuclear weapons.
“And so we are working together with our allies and partners and with the Chinese leadership to develop a range of options.”
He said it was felt among allies “this problem is coming to a head”, adding that it is time “to undertake all actions we can, short of a military option, to try to resolve this peacefully”.
South Korean and US military officials said the missile detonated almost immediately after its launch in the early hours at the city of Sinpo on the east coast. The US Pacific Command said it believed it to be a ballistic missile.
Former foreign security Sir Malcolm Rifkind said it might have been sabotaged by a US cyber hack.
But he added: “Don’t get too excited by that, they’ve also had quite a lot of successful tests. They are an advanced country when it comes to their nuclear weapons programme.”