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Mattis warns North Korea of 'massive military response' if it threatens US, allies
Defense Secretary James Mattis on Sunday issued a stark warning to North Korea, saying the country would be met with a "massive military response" if it threatened the U.S. or its allies.
"Any threat to the United States or its territories including Guam or our allies will be met with a massive military response," Mattis said in a statement outside of the White House after meeting with President Trump.
"Kim Jong Un should take heed 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. Because we are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely, North Korea," he continued.
Mattis said the U.S. had "many military options" regarding the Korean peninsula, and that the president wanted to be briefed on all of them.
Mattis's aggressive, holiday-weekend statement comes hours after North Korean state media announced the country had successfully tested a miniaturized hydrogen bomb capable of fitting on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
The move is a show of defiance against Washington and the international community.
The White House in a statement released Sunday evening said Trump spoke to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about North Korea's test and that the two "pledged to continue close cooperation."
"President Trump reaffirmed the commitment of the United States to defending our homeland, territories, and allies using the full range of diplomatic, conventional, and nuclear capabilities at our disposal," the White House said.
The UN Security Council unanimously voted last month to impose sanctions on Pyongyang after the country launched a series of ICBMs.
The council announced it would be having an emergency meeting to discuss the developments.
The Defense secretary's statement matches President Trump's recent hawkish statements regarding North Korea.
Trump strongly condemned Pyongyang's actions, saying the U.S. was considering imposing sanctions on North Korea's trade partners.
When asked whether the U.S. would attack North Korea, Trump responded "We'll see."
The president said last month North Korea would be met with "fire and fury" if it continued to threaten the U.S. and its allies.
Last week, President Trump said that talking with North Korea was no longer the answer, after the country launched an ICBM over Japanese airspace.
[Source: By Julia Manchester, The Hill, Washington, 03Sep17]
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