NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — North Korea launched its first ballistic missile test in over two months Tuesday.
As CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported, the White House designated the North Korea a terror state just last week, amid tense rhetoric and a ratcheting up of sanctions against the north.
Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning said Tuesday that the missile was launched at approximately 1:30 p.m. EST from Sain Ni, North Korea, and traveled about 620 miles eastward before landing in the Sea of Japan.
“I will only tell you that we will take care of it,” President Donald Trump said in response. “We have General Mattis in the room with us, and we’ve had a long discussion on it. It is a situation that we will handle.”
The Pentagon believes it was an intercontinental ballistic missile.
“It went higher, frankly, than any previous shot they’ve taken. It’s a research and development effort on their part to continue building ballistic missiles that can threaten everywhere in the world, basically,” Secretary of Defense. Gen. James Mattis said. “In response, the South Koreans have fired a pinpoint missile into the water to make certain North Korea understands that they could be taken under fire by our ally.
“But the bottom line is: It’s a continued effort to build a ballistic missile threat that endangers world peace, regional peace and certainly the United States.”
A U.S. intelligence official told CBS News that the U.S. “is not surprised” by the launch, saying that there had been “plenty” of recent “indications.”
The Tuesday launch was the first since September, when North Korea fired an intermediate range ballistic missile that landed in the Pacific Ocean east of Japan.
The remarks by the president and Defense Secretary come on a day when Trump had called a meeting of both Republican and Democratic leadership to discuss a tax bill.
But there were two empty seats in the room. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) decided not to show up, after the president tweeted “I don’t see a deal.”
“The president said, ‘I don’t see a deal,’ three hours before our meeting without hearing anything we had to say,” Schumer said.
The president said the gravity of the day’s news about a missile launch may change the minds of the Democratic leaders.
“I think that will have a huge effect on Schumer and Pelosi,” Trump said.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)