US slams North Korea 'provocation'

US slams North Korea 'provocation'

US Defense Secretary James Mattis slammed North Korea's test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile as a "provocation".

"We (are) right now dealing with this very serious escalation, this provocation, this affront to the United Nations Security Council resolutions," Mattis said in his first public comments since Tuesday's test.

He added that the US remains in a diplomatic effort engaging allies and partner nations across the board.

Mattis said any effort by North Korea to start a conflict would have "serious consequences."

"We stand ready to provide options if they are necessary, but this is a purely diplomatically led (effort) with economic sanctions and buttressed by the military position that we are taking right now," the AFP cited the Pentagon chief as saying.

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