McMaster: U.S. considering how to deal with North Korea

The United States is considering “a range of options” to deal with North Korea’s “pattern of destabilizing behavior,” national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster told reporters on Sunday.

“The president has made clear that he will not accept the United States and its allies and partners in the region being under threat from this hostile regime with nuclear weapons, ” said McMaster. “And so, we’re working together with our allies and partners, and with the Chinese leadership, to develop a range of options.”

He said the National Security Council is working with the Pentagon and the State Department, and that intelligence agencies are preparing options to put in front of President Trump.

“This problem is coming to a head. And so, it’s time for us to undertake all actions we can, short of a military option, to try to resolve this peacefully,” he said, adding, “In the coming weeks, months, I think there’s a great opportunity for all of us … to take action short of armed conflict so we can avoid the worst.”

McMaster’s comments came hours after it was reported that an attempted missile launch by the North Koreans exploded just after take-off. He noted that the failed test “fits into a pattern of provocative and destabilizing and threatening behavior on the part of the North Korean regime.”

He added, “It’s a failed test — follows another failed test. So, really, no need to reinforce their failure. We’ve got options. We’ve got a range of options — both militarily, diplomatic, economic and others — a wide array of tools at the disposal [of] the president should he choose to use them. If they took the time and energy to launch a missile and fail, we don’t need to expend any resources against that.”

In the past week, the Trump administration persuaded China to suspend coal shipments from North Korea. However, it was reported that overall imports from North Korea to China have actually increased.

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