US President Donald Trump has called for tougher sanctions against North Korea after it fired an “unidentified projectile” thought to be a ballistic missile.
“Let this latest provocation serve as a call for all nations to implement far stronger sanctions against North Korea,” the White House said in a brief statement Sunday, adding the country “has been a flagrant menace for far too long.”
According to the South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, Pyongyang launched the missile from Pyongan Province at 5:27 am on Sunday. The US Pacific Command also confirmed the missile launch.
After flying over 700 kilometers (435 miles), the missile landed in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) surrounded by the Korean peninsula, Japan and the Russian far east.
The missile impacted “so close to Russian soil … the president cannot imagine that Russia is pleased,” the White House said.
Following the missile test, US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster spoke with South Korea’s national security chief, Kim Kwan-jin, according to South Korea’s presidential office.
The two agreed to increase cooperation to denuclearize North Korea, the office said.
North Korea is already under multiple sets of international sanctions over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
The sanctions, however, have done little to deter the country from pursuing its nuclear and missile ambitions, which Pyongyang sees as a deterrent against a potential invasion by its adversaries.
On May 4, the US House of Representatives passed new sanctions against Pyongyang, targeting the country’s exports and shipping industry.
The sanctions ban ships owned or hired by North Korea from operating in US waters or docking at US ports.
Also, the US Treasury said it was considering all of its available tools to deny North Korea access to the international financial system.
“We are entertaining all of the tools in our arsenal, including programs that come from TFI (Terrorism and Financial Intelligence) and OFAC (the Office of Foreign Assets Control) offices and similar ones to try to stop them,” a senior Treasury official told reporters Saturday.
“We don’t comment on future sanctions, but we’re obviously going to consider every tool in our arsenal to combat any illicit activity and terror financing,” the official said just a few hours before North Korea fired another ballistic missile.