US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said the United States has many military options for dealing with Kim Jong Un’s provocations and that President Donald J. Trump wanted to be briefed on each one.
The Korean Central News Agency announced that North Korean scientists had carried out a test in the country’s northern nuclear test ground of a hydrogen bomb built to sit on top of an intercontinental ballistic missile, describing the device as a two-stage thermonuclear weapon.
Media reports say that the test was the most powerful of the six, but there is no official measurement yet of the force of the hydrogen weapon.
In his remarks, Mattis said they had made clear to the president that the United States has the ability to defend itself and its allies — South Korea and Japan — from any attack.
“Our commitments among the allies are ironclad,” the secretary added. “Any threat to the United States or its territories, including [the U.S. territory of] Guam or our allies, will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming.”
This nuclear test was North Korea’s sixth since 2006.
The weapon tested was a fusion bomb, also called a hydrogen bomb or thermonuclear weapon. Fission weapons, such as those that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II, are sometimes called atomic bombs.
This afternoon, Mattis said that 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 in their commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” he said.
“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,” Mattis added.
The U.N. Security Council announced that it will have a meeting about the nuclear test tomorrow morning.