Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed Tuesday that the missile launched by North Korea on Monday was an intercontinental ballistic missile, in a statement in which he condemned the test.
“Testing an ICBM represents a new escalation of the threat to the United States, our allies and partners, the region, and the world,” Tillerson said.
In response to the test, U.S. and South Korean forces conducted joint military exercises aimed at “countering North Korea’s destabilizing and unlawful actions on July 4,” according to a statement issued by the U.S. Army.
The exercise, off the east coast of South Korea, deployed rockets from both the U.S. and South Korean missile arsenals, the statement said.
It added: “The U.S. commitment to the defense of the ROK (Republic of Korea) in the face of threats is ironclad.”
In an earlier joint statement, China and Russia called the test “unacceptable” and called for a moratorium on nuclear and missile tests by North Korea — and a suspension of large-scale military exercises by the U.S. and South Korea. The Associated Press has more:
“The foreign ministries said that as a ‘voluntary political decision,’ North Korea should declare a ‘moratorium on testing nuclear devices and test launches of ballistic missiles.’ In turn, the U.S. and South Korea should ‘accordingly refrain from large-scale joint maneuvers,’ the joint statement added.
“They said ‘the confronting parties’ involved should sit down for talks to agree on principles that include a refusal to use force and a pledge to make the Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons.”