Despite his campaign vows to take a tougher line with North Korea, President Donald Trump's restrained public reaction to Pyongyang's first ballistic missile launch on his watch underscores that he has few good options to curb its missile and nuclear programs.
The responses under consideration - which range from additional sanctions to U.S. shows of force to beefed-up missile defense, according to one administration official - do not seem to differ significantly so far from the North Korea playbook followed by Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama.
Even the idea of stepping up pressure on China to rein in a defiant North Korea has been tried - to little avail - by successive administrations. But Beijing is showing no signs of softening its resistance under a new U.S. president who has bashed them on trade, currency and the contested South China Sea.
More dramatic responses to North Korea's missile tests would be direct military action or negotiations. But neither appears to be on the table - the first because it would risk regional war, the latter because it would be seen as rewarding Pyongyang for bad behavior. And neither would offer certain success.