US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has warned that any attack on the United States or its allies will be met with a “massive military response”, after North Korea said it conducted its sixths nuclear test.
“We have the ability to defend ourselves and our allies South Korea and Japan from attack, and our commitments to our allies are ironclad,” Mattis said in a statement he read out to journalists outside the White House.
“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. 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.”
On Sunday, North Korea announced that it had performed a “completely successful” underground test of a hydrogen bomb, which it claimed could be loaded onto an intercontinental ballistic missile. The nature of the test was corroborated through the worldwide detection of a man-made earthquake around the military facility at Punggye-ri, whose power significantly exceeded that produced by the five previous nuclear tests carried out by North Korea.