After an uncharacteristically long, "Gen. Kelly-mediated" delay, Donald Trump finally issued an official response to last night's North Korean launch which flew over Japanese airspace. And, instead of tweeting, perhaps indicative of the gravity of the situation, moments ago the White House issued an official statement saying that "all options are on the table."
Full statement below:
Statement by President Donald J. Trump on North Korea
The world has received North Korea's latest message loud and clear: this regime has signaled contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior.
Threatening and destabilizing actions only increase the North Korean regime's isolation in the region and among all nations of the world. All options are on the table.
While that may be, judging by North Korea's repeated provocations, at least Kim is convinced that Trump really has no options. Indeed, as Bill Blain commented earlier, "What will Donald do? After last week’s “Fire and Fury” rant, the N Koreans are expecting him to fulminate, look stupid, make some further angry comments – in short more bluster. They will continue to goad him into doing something “angry”… at which point America gets the blame, and China can step in as peacemaker."
In other words, North Korea - and China - appear to have set a trap for the US president. Will Trump avoid the temptation to walk straight in it, or - in an attempt to "boost ratings" - will Trump do what Gens Kelly and McMaster are telling him to do? One more launch by North Korea may be all it takes to find the answer.