Hours after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for tough new action toward North Korea on Friday, the nuclear-armed dictatorship thumbed its nose at the Trump administration with the latest in a series of missile tests that Trump officials say could provoke a military conflict.
The test failed quickly and the missile never left North Korean territory. But its timing implied calculated defiance by North Korea’s 33-year-old leader Kim Jong Un. It came a day before President Donald Trump’s 100-day mark and less than 24 hours after Trump warned of the potential for a “major, major conflict” over Kim’s expanding nuclear capability.
The message seemed to be that two weeks of saber-rattling — which included military deployments and a visit by Vice President Mike Pence to the North Korean border “so they can see our resolve in my face” — had failed to intimidate Kim.
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