White House National Security Adviser HR McMaster says North Korea's most recent missile test represents "open defiance of the international community." He says North Korea poses "a grave threat" not just to the United States and its Asian allies, but also to China. Speaking on Fox News Sunday, McMaster says it's important "for all of us to confront this regime ... that is pursuing the weaponization of a missile with a nuclear weapon. This is something that we know we cannot tolerate." McMaster says Trump "has made clear that he is going to resolve this issue one way or the other, and what we prefer to do is to work with others, China included, to resolve this situation short of military action." That means, he said, enforcing UN sanctions and perhaps "ratcheting up those sanctions even further. And it also means being prepared for military operations." A look around the Sunday dial, per the AP:
- Seoul's presidential Blue House says McMaster has confirmed that the US won't be seeking payment for the THAAD missile defense system now being deployed in its territory, despite President Trump's vow last week to make the Asian ally pay $1 billion.
- In an interview with CBS' Face the Nation, Trump says he believes Chinese President Xi Jinping has been putting pressure on North Korea as it pursues its missile and nuclear weapons programs and wouldn't be happy if Pyongyang conducts a nuclear test. Asked if that means military action, Trump responded: "I don't know. I mean, we'll see."
- Pope Francis is warning that escalating tensions could be catastrophic. "A wider war will destroy not a small part of humanity, but a good part of humanity and culture. Everything. Everything, no? It would be terrible. I don't think humanity today could bear it."
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