France Says North Korea Close to Long-Range Missile Capability

France Says North Korea Close to Long-Range Missile Capability

"We will work closely with other countries to intensify pressure on North Korea".

North Korean missile launches have been happening at an unusually fast pace this year, and some analysts believe the North could have viable long-range nuclear missiles before the end of President Donald Trump's first term in early 2021.

This test marks the second time that a SM-6 missile has successfully intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile target, officials said.

"We see a North Korea whose objective is to have missiles capable of transporting a nuclear weapon tomorrow", Le Drian told RTL radio.

The latest provocation dampened the cautious optimism for dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang, both of which appeared poised to dial down tensions following an exchange of fiery rhetoric.

USA defence secretary Jim Mattis has refuted claims that he disagrees with President Donald Trump on the best strategy to handle tensions with North Korea, saying his comments were "widely misinterpreted". It followed his threat of "fire and fury" on Pyongyang.

He said the situation will be explosive when North Korea has the means to strike not only Japan and China but also the United States and even Europe.

His recent granting of a pardon to former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, facing sentencing for violating the rights of suspected illegal immigrants, shows the president has little regard for the USA democratic system, including the rule of law.

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The U.S. military frequently responds to North Korean actions with a show-of-force display of its attack aircraft.

"Literally I'm using the president's thoughts and they thought that I was distancing from the president. We have seen this political maneuvering by politicians even in our own country, and I have grown worn out, so to speak, or accustomed to it", he added.

Covert efforts to bring down the regime by instigating internal dissent, and attempts to sabotage North Korean weapons, are also rumoured to be methods potentially used by enemies of Kim Jong-un, the reclusive state's leader. -South Korea war games as rehearsals for an invasion and described Tuesday's missile launch over Japan as a response to the drills. And according to a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, between 1996 and 2008, the United States had provided more than $1 billion in assistance to North Korea.

"North Korea's actions are a threat to our allies, partners and homeland, and their destabilizing actions will be met accordingly", said General Terrence J.

Pyongyang should "return to the path of negotiations", the minister said.

Numerous reporters and news outlets tweeted variations of "Mattis breaks with Trump!" on Twitter. "After a while these become like background noise". And if it does, North Korea will likely demand a halt of the U.S.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the situation on the peninsula was serious.