A day after North Korea claimed that it tested a hydrogen bomb, the US has threatened to launch a “massive military response” against the country.
“We made clear that we have the ability to defend ourselves and our allies, South Korea and Japan, from any attack. And our commitment among the allies is ironclad: Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam, or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming,” US Defence Secretary James Mattis said.
Mattis’ warning came after a small group of national security members met US President Donald Trump and the Vice President Mike Pence to discuss Pyongyang’s provocation on the Korean Peninsula.
“We have many military options. The president wanted to be briefed on each one of them,” he said.
On Sunday, Pyongyang is said to have carried out its biggest nuclear test, judging by the massive earthquake it triggered. The North claimed that it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb meant to be loaded onto an intercontinental ballistic missile. It was Pyongyang’s sixth, and the most powerful nuclear test.
The US Defence Secretary also warned the North Korea to abide by the UN sanctions imposed on it.
“Kim Jong Un should take heed of the United Nations Security Council’s unified voice – all members unanimously agreed on the threat North Korea poses and they remain unanimous on their commitment to the de-nuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula because we are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea. As I said, we have many options to do so,” Mattis said.
On Sunday US President Donald Trump warned that “appeasement” won’t work with Pyongyang whose “words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous” to the US.
(With inputs from agencies)