Because of North Koreaâs location â squeezed between China and South Korea, with Japan to the east and southeast and Russia to the northeast â there is essentially no way that the North can test missiles on such trajectories without flying over another nation.
âIf the previous launchings were for testing technologies, this one was a realistic demonstration of an intermediate-range ballistic missile capability,â said Chang Young-keun, a missile expert at Korea Aerospace University near Seoul. âIn this test, the Northâs missile actually flew at a realistic angle and trajectory.â
President Trump said in a statement Tuesday that North Korea had âsignaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior.â
He added, âThreatening and destabilizing actions only increase the North Korean regimeâs isolation in the region and among all nations of the world. All options are on the table.â
At the United Nations, members of the Security Council met in an emergency session late Tuesday afternoon to discuss the next steps. After the meeting, which lasted nearly four hours, the 15 Security Council members unanimously adopted a statement condemning what they called North Koreaâs âoutrageous actionsâ in launching the missile over Japan and launching three missiles last Saturday. The statement called North Koreaâs launchings ânot just a threat to the region but all U.N. member states.â
But there was nothing in the statement that suggested the council was ready to further toughen the eight sets of sanctions it has imposed on the North, and it was unclear what further action, if any, might be taken. Speaking afterward, Nikki R. Haley, the United States ambassador, said the statement showed that âthe world is united against North Korea.â She hinted at a possible American response, saying that…