President Donald Trump in an interview to air Sunday said "I will not be happy" if North Korea conducts a sixth banned nuclear test, but wasn’t specific as to whether a U.S. response would include military action.
"I don't know," Trump told CBS News' John Dickerson in an interview to air on "Face the Nation" when asked whether military action would follow a nuclear test. "I mean, we’ll see."
The interview conducted Saturday comes a day after North Korea test-launched what U.S. officials say was a short-range ballistic missile, a test which is prohibited by United Nations sanctions. The missile blew up shortly just launch, officials said.
It had been feared that North Korea could conduct another nuclear test earlier this week to commemorate the founding of the nation's military. Instead North Korea held live-fire drills.
Trump told Dickerson in the interview that if North Korea carries out a sixth nuclear test, "I would not be happy."
"If he does a nuclear test, I will not be happy. And I can tell you also, I don't believe that the president of China, who is a very respected man, will be happy either,” Trump said.
When Dickerson asked "'Not happy' mean military action?" Trump replied: "I don't know. I mean, we'll see,” according to a clip released by CBS.
Trump has said he is working with Chinese President Xi Jinping, North Korea’s most important ally, in urging North Korea to exercise restraint amid heightened tensions in the Korean peninsula.
Asked whether that policy was working, Trump said: "Well, I didn't say, 'don't test a missile.' He's going to have to do what he has to do. But he understands we're not going to be very happy."
"And I will tell you, a man that I've gotten to like and respect — the president of China, President Xi — I believe has been putting pressure on him also. But so far, perhaps nothing's happened and perhaps it has," Trump said. "This was a small missile. This was not a big missile. This was not a nuclear test, which he was expected to do three days ago. We'll see what happens."
Friday's missile test was the second time this month that a missile launch failed. North Korea has launched several ballistic missiles since Trump took office. It has warned that it is ready "at any time" to test an intercontinental ballistic missile, but has never launched such a missile.
South Korea announced on Wednesday that it had installed key parts of a U.S. missile defense system, the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD.