WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration had been expecting a North Korean “provocation” soon after taking office and will consider a full range of options in a response to Pyongyang’s missile test, but calibrated to show U.S. resolve while avoiding escalation, a U.S. official told Reuters on Saturday.
The new administration is also likely to step up pressure on China to rein in North Korea, reflecting President Donald Trump’s previously stated view that Beijing has not done enough on this front, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“This was no surprise,” the official said. “The North Korean leader likes to draw attention at times like this.”
Trump and his aides are likely to weigh a series of possible responses, including new U.S. sanctions to tighten financial controls, an increase in U.S. naval and air assets in and around the Korean peninsula and accelerated installation of new missile defense systems in South Korea, the official said.
But the official said that, given that the missile test was believed not to have been a threatened intercontinental missile test and that Pyongyang had not carried out a new nuclear explosion, any response will seek to avoid ratcheting up tensions.
Reporting By Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Mary Milliken