The US Pentagon Chief James Mattis has declared that any threat to the United States or its allies by North Korea will be met with a “massive military response”.
Mattis’ remarks came shortly after a national security briefing with President Donald Trump about the secretive communist state’s latest nuclear test.
Pyongyang earlier said it had successfully trialled a hydrogen bomb that could be loaded on to a long-range missile.
The move has drawn international condemnation.
North Korea also defied UN sanctions and international pressure by developing nuclear weapons and test missiles that could potentially reach the US.
But speaking to reporters outside the White House, Defence Secretary Mattis said the US had the ability to defend itself and its allies South Korea and Japan, adding that its commitments were “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.”
Read his full statement:
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.
We had a small-group national security meeting today with the president and the vice-president about the latest provocation on the Korean peninsula.
We have many military options and the president wanted to be briefed on each one of them.
We made clear that we have the ability to defend ourselves and our allies,South Korea and Japan, from any attack and our commitments among the allies are iron-clad. 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.
Kim Jong-un should take heed of the United Nations security council’s unified voice, all members unanimously agreed on the threat North Koreaposes, and they remain unanimous in their commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Because we are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea, but as I said we have many options to do so.
Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.