NORFOLK,Va. (WVEC) -- North Korea's recent missile test poses a grave threat to the world, and a stern test for President Trump.
That's the view from one local expert on international studies.
Old Dominion University International Studies Director, Doctor Regina Karp says, if you don't do enough in response, you encourage Kim Jung Un to continue with this bad behavior. She says, if you push the unstable North Korean dictator too much, you risk nuclear war.
"The situation is particularly very dangerous precisely because there are no good options," she said.
"The situation can very easily escalate and cause hundreds of thousands of casualties," Karp added. "Which nobody wants."
North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile test did have the capacity to at least reach Alaska, according to experts, with at least one analyst saying Kim Jung Un could obtain a weapon capable of reaching San Diego within 1 to 2 years.
The North has defended the move as an exercise of its legitimate right to self-defense.
"He wants to be able to directly threaten the United States," said Karp.
President Trump has said North Korea is 'behaving in a very, very dangerous manner," adding, "Something will have to be done about it," though he did not offer details about what responses his administration was considering.
The President did take to Twitter, tweeting out: "Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?"
Karp said Mr. Trump needs to choose his words wisely.
"You have 140 characters to play with," she said. "I think it's very dangerous to try and build policy on that kind of medium."
Word today from Washington says that House Republicans are now considering combining a North Korean sanctions bill with the Senate's Russia sanctions legislation. Also, the Trump administration, said to be frustrated over China's inaction, could impose new sanctions on small Chinese banks and other firms doing business with North Korea.