The show of strength by the US military was a direct response to the test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile by North Korea — the second the regime has fired this month in a series of advancements that experts say presents a rising menace to the US and its allies. The missile travelled about 1,000km on Friday before splashing down in the Sea of Japan.
State media quoted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un claiming the missile could hit anywhere on the US mainland, a development Mr Trump has previously said would never happen.
官方媒体援引朝鲜领导人金正恩(Kim Jong Un)的话称，此型导弹可以打到美国本土任何地方，而特朗普此前曾表示，这样的事情永远不会发生。
In a statement on Sunday the commander of the US Pacific Air Forces, General Terrence O’Shaughnessy, called North Korea the most urgent threat to regional stability and said the US military was “ready to respond with rapid, lethal, and overwhelming force at a time and place of our choosing.“
美国太平洋空军(Pacific Air Forces，简称PACAF)指挥官、空军上将特伦斯•奥肖纳西(General Terrence O’Shaughnessy)周日在一份声明中形容朝鲜是地区稳定的最迫切威胁，并表示美军“已准备好在我方选择的时间和地点以快速、致命和压倒一切的力量做出回应“。
In two tweets sent on Sunday morning in Asia, the US president declared that China could “easily solve this problem“.
Linking the issue with trade imbalances between the US and China, Mr Trump tweeted: "I am very disappointed in China. Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk“. A second tweet added that: “we will no longer allow this to continue“.
The president has pushed China to take a more aggressive stance on North Korea, arguing that Beijing’s actions have not gone far enough to pressure the country to abandon its nuclear programme.
Previous comments from Mr Trump have acknowledged the difficulty in changing Pyongyang’s behaviour. In an interview after his meeting with Xi Jinping in April, Mr Trump described a 10-minute lecture from the Chinese president explaining the limitations of Beijing’s leverage over the regime of Kim Jong Un, after which, said Mr Trump, “I realised it’s not so easy.“
Victor Gao, a foreign affairs commentator and former Chinese foreign ministry official, said that while the US president had the right to say whatever he wanted he risked exacerbating the situation and “should be aware of the consequences“.
"For President Trump to say China is not doing enough misses the point. More division between the US and China creates more space for North Korea to exploit that division,“ said Mr Gao.
The president’s tweets — and the deliberate challenge to China — followed a more measured official statement issued by Mr Trump on Saturday.
“By threatening the world, these weapons and tests further isolate North Korea, weaken its economy, and deprive its people,“ he said in the statement. “The United States will take all necessary steps to ensure the security of the American homeland and protect our allies in the region.“
The Trump administration has suggested the US could resort to military action if diplomatic and other efforts fail to sway Pyongyang. But this would risk retaliation that has the potential to destroy Seoul, a city of more than 10m people.
The US Senate last week overwhelmingly backed a package of sanctions targeted at North Korea, as well as Russia and Iran. Earlier this month the US banned its citizens from travelling to North Korea.
Ben Cardin, a Democratic member of the Senate foreign relations committee, said: “This latest test also makes clear that the president’s approach to North Korea is not working, and I call on the president and his national security team to rethink how the United States can best combine pressure, sanctions, our alliances and our military might with agile and forward-leaning diplomacy to seek to effectively address North Korea’s malign ambitions.“
美国参议院外交关系委员会(Senate Foreign Relations Committee)民主党人本•卡丁(Ben Cardin)表示：“最新试射也表明，总统对朝鲜的策略并未奏效。我呼吁总统及其国家安全团队重新思考一下，美国如何结合压力、制裁、我们的联盟和我们的军事力量，与敏捷和前瞻性的外交工作，来有效应对朝鲜的险恶野心。“
In its statement, the Pentagon said its commitment to the defence of its allies, including the Republic of Korea and Japan, in the face of these threats was “ironclad“.