McMaster: US Prefers Action ‘Short Of A Military Option’ In North Korea Response

Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster listens as President Donald Trump makes the announcement at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., Monday, Feb. 20, 2017. McMaster will be the new national security adviser. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Susan Walsh/AP

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster on Sunday said that President Donald Trump’s administration would prefer “to take action short of armed conflict” in response to North Korea’s military actions.

McMaster said on ABC’s “This Week” that the United States is considering “a range of options” but would prefer to “avoid the worst.”

A North Korean missile exploded on Sunday during launch, according to U.S. and South Korean officials. Vice President Mike Pence described the failed launch as as a “provocation.”

McMaster said the launch “fits a pattern of provocative and destabilizing and threatening behavior” on North Korea’s part.

He said that the U.S. is working to “undertake all actions we can, short of a military option, to try to resolve this peacefully.”

“The President has made clear that he will not accept the United States and its allies and partners in the region being under threat from this hostile regime with nuclear weapons,” McMaster said. “This is a situation that just can’t continue.”

Trump’s administration on Friday announced a strategy based on “maximum pressure and engagement” in response to North Korea’s actions.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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