Mattis Gives Update on North Korean Missile Launch

Secretary of Defense James Mattis gave an update at the White House on Tuesday's missile launch by North Korea.

At a meeting with President Donald Trump and Republican leaders, Mattis was asked by Trump to say a few words about the latest news of the launch while the media was present.

"A little over two and a half hours ago, North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile," Mattis said. "It went higher, frankly, than any previous shot they've taken. It's a research and development effort on their part to continue building ballistic missiles that can threaten everywhere in the world, basically."

"In response, the South Koreans have fired some pinpoint missiles out into the water to make certain North Korea understands that they could be taken under fire by our ally," Mattis added. "But the bottom line is it's a continued effort to build a threat–a ballistic missile threat–that endangers world peace, regional peace, and certainly the United States."

"Thank you, general, and we will take care of that situation," Trump said.

North Korea has been launching several missiles toward the Pacific Ocean, in what has been both technology testing and an act of defiance toward most of the international community, which has opposed its behavior.