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Korea of military options

17 September 2017

The US and its allies "will never be intimidated", president Donald Trump has said, as he warned that US options for addressing the threat from North Korea "are both effective and overwhelming".

"For those who have said and have been commenting about the lack of a military option, there is a military option", he insisted.

"After seeing your capabilities and commitment here today, I am more confident than ever that our options in addressing this threat are both effective and overwhelming", Trump said inside an airplane hangar, surrounded by U.S. airmen and with a looming stealth bomber positioned behind him.

Japanese officials are "miffed" over United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley's decision to appear at a White House press briefing as the critical situation in North Korea escalates, CNN's Jim Acosta reports. A new set of United Nations sanctions that even Trump declared a "small step", extensive talks and a rhetorical two-step that leaves them where they have been for years.

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McMaster said new sanctions on North Korea are just going into effect and need to be given a chance to work. Just four days earlier, it had unanimously approved new sanctions on Pyongyang for its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3.

North Korea is likely to top the agenda of next week's meeting of the UN General Assembly.

Hours earlier, Pyongyang had fired a missile over Japan and into the Pacific Ocean - its longest missile flight yet - in response to fresh punitive measures imposed by the U.N. Security Council.

North Korea fired a ballistic missile over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido Friday local time, the latest in a stream of missile tests that have looked to defy the worldwide community.

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The increasing levels of sanctions are expected to cut off 90 percent of North Korea's trade. "It's not what we'd prefer to do". Some 25 million people live in the metropolitan area of Seoul, U.S. ally South Korea's capital, well within range of the North's extensive artillery.

Those arguments were buttressed from within Trump's administration last month when Steven Bannon concurred that America was essentially bluffing about military options, shortly before he was pushed out as the president's strategic adviser.

"There's always more you can do, but then you get into the humanitarian aspect of it", she said, talking about how it could hurt North Korean citizens.

"I have no problem kicking it to [defence secretary] Gen [James] Mattis, because I think he has plenty of options", she said. "Hopefully there will be coordination with allies on their policy lines before he adds anything to the speech about North Korea".

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Korea of military options