Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said Monday that the U.S. military has not attempted to shoot down ballistic missiles test-launched by North Korea because they have not been on a trajectory to hit U.S. or allies’ territory.
The comments come after the underground test of a nuclear bomb earlier this month and days after North Korea launched its second missile in less than a month that flew over northern Japan.
The intermediate-range missile was launched Friday near the isolated nation’s capital, Pyongyang, soaring for about 2,300 miles before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. The test demonstrated that the U.S. territory of Guam is now in attack range.
A motorcade arrives at Trump Tower in New York ahead of the United Nations General Assembly. (Barbara Demick / Los Angeles Times)
New Yorkers generally hate the week of the U.N. General Assembly, when heads of state from around the world gather in the city, snarling traffic and inconveniencing those who actually live here.
This year it means the return of New York's not-so-favorite local son, President Trump, who received just 18% of the vote in his hometown. Police have started barricading a vast swath of Midtown, stretching from the United Nations headquarters to Trump Tower, which is about 15 blocks away on Fifth Avenue.
The building, where Trump maintains a triplex penthouse, was surrounded Sunday by police cars -- and strangely, an effective if low-tech barricade of New York City garbage trucks. Helicopters whirred overhead as a motorcade arrived.
The Trump administration is considering closing down the U.S. Embassy in Cuba after nearly two dozen American diplomatic staffers or family members suffered health effects that were blamed on suspected sonic attacks, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday.
“We have it under evaluation,” Tillerson said in an interview aired on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” when asked about calls by some GOP lawmakers to shutter the embassy in Havana. “It’s under review.”
An embassy shutdown would mark an abrupt reversal of the warming ties between the two nations since diplomatic relations were restored in 2015. President Trump has criticized the diplomatic opening, but he has not moved to break ties again.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said President Trump was “upset and passionate” about last week’s subway bombing in London when he tweeted shortly after the attack about a “loser terrorist” who had been “in the sights of Scotland Yard.”
Haley, in an interview that aired Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” said the president had not intended to hinder British authorities in their response to the bombing by seemingly disclosing that an attacker or attackers had previously come to the attention of the Metropolitan Police.
“Look, the president would not want to do any harm to the investigation – let’s be clear,” Haley said. “There was no ill intent.”
In the latest instance of President Trump seeming to revel in the notion of physical attacks against perceived enemies, the president retweeted an animated GIF showing him hitting a golf ball that then knocks down his onetime rival Hillary Clinton.
Critics swiftly responded. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), appearing on ABC’s “This Week, said: “It’s distressing to have a president that frankly will tweet and retweet things as juvenile as that.”
The original tweet, from a user whose Twitter handle consists of an expletive, was sent last week and retweeted Sunday by the president, who is spending the weekend at his New Jersey golf property. Here is what he retweeted:
With tensions running high over North Korea, President Trump on Sunday mocked its mercurial leader, Kim Jong Un, referring to him as “Rocket Man.”
Trump, who is spending the weekend at his New Jersey golf property, said on Twitter that he had spoken Saturday evening with South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, and that the two had discussed Pyongyang’s latest actions, including the firing of two missiles that overflew Japan and a test detonation of the North's most powerful nuclear device yet.
I spoke with President Moon of South Korea last night. Asked him how Rocket Man is doing. Long gas lines forming in North Korea. Too bad!
The White House was more circumspect in a readout of the call, saying that in their conversation, Trump and Moon had “committed to continuing to take steps to strengthen deterrence and defense capabilities.”
Catholic University of America has abruptly canceled a speech by a well-known, popular Jesuit priest because of protests over his support for gay and lesbian Catholics.
Father James Martin, at-large editor of the Jesuit-run America magazine and an oft-quoted commentator on Catholic affairs, was scheduled to speak at an alumni event at the university's Theological College on Oct. 4.
The college, based in Washington, revoked the invitation following protests from conservative Catholic groups over Martin's new book, "Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity."
Donald Trump’s tough talk on illegal immigration was a big part of the reason Dave Hagstrom and many others in this booming Phoenix suburb supported him for president. “Walls make good neighbors,” Hagstrom said.
So when the president moved this week to cut a deal — with Democrats no less — to block the expulsion of 800,000 immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children, was Hagstrom disappointed?