WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he's considering "pretty severe things" in response to North Korea's test-launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
A pre-emptive U.S. military blow can't be ruled out, but such a strike carries great risk and is among his least likely options.
The reason is clear.
Even a precise strike aimed at destroying the North's partially hidden nuclear and missile force is unlikely to stop the North from retaliating with long-range artillery that could kill stunning numbers in South Korea.
And it probably would leads to all-out war on the Korean Peninsula.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says he doesn't think the U.S. and North Korea are now closer to war. But he says that if the North starts one, "severe consequences" would follow.