During a brief meeting with reporters on Air Force One on Sunday, President Trump hit out at North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for "acting very, very badly" following the North's latest missile engine test.
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"I have meetings on North Korea who's acting very, very badly. I will tell you he is acting very, very badly."
The president's remarks came shortly after North Korea announced it had successfully tested a new high-thrust engine, with Kim Jong-un calling it a "great event of historic significance."
The test was conducted while U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was in China wrapping up the final leg of his three nation tour to East Asia.
Tillerson had previously denounced North Korea's missile tests, indicating that the Trump administration is open to taking pre-emptive military action if North Korea continues to elevate the threat of their weapons program.
During an interview with Fox News on Sunday, chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, also said Washington should be ready to take pre-emptive measures.
Calling the North Korean regime "completely unhinged", Nunes stressed the need for measures to be taken in order to prevent possible nuclear attacks on Washington's allies.
Meanwhile, the New York Times reported that any pre-emptive strike against North Korea, as mused by the Trump administration, would entail serious challenges and risks.
Listing the three possible military options Washington could take, namely launching a single strike to halt a missile launch, a set of strikes to devastate the regime's arsenal or declaring war on America's terms, the article called on the U.S. to make a wise decision considering the huge risks such actions could bring.
Kim Mok-yeon, Arirang News.